2015 predictions: Political dramatics, wilder weather and grand slam aspirations

How will the likes of Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Caroline Wozniacki and Lars von Trier fare this year?

This year is already looking like an eventful one from a global perspective. The conflicts, Ebola and climate challenges are not going away anytime soon, but there is hope of progress, not least at the December climate summit in Paris.

And it is looking like it could be an epic year in Denmark as well. Will the Danes get a new prime minister? Will Dansk Folkeparti make a return to prominence? Will Caroline Wozniacki win her first grand slam? Read on to learn the Weekly Post’s predictions for the year ahead.

Politics: Lars back with DF?
It’s election year and the atmosphere is already intense in the halls of Christiansborg – and that’s without an official date yet. At the very least, we know that the prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, must call one before August 25, which must then be held before or on September 15.

According to the polls, if the elections took place today, Venstre would win and Lars Løkke Rasmussen would return to the helm as Denmark’s prime minister, with the government probably consisting of Venstre and DF, which has been steaming ahead in the polls.

Socialdemokraterne is struggling in the polls, but as only Thorning-Schmidt can call the election, she could wait until after the summer in order to make up lost ground in the polls. Still it seems a bridge too far for Denmark’s PM and the latest odds from Bet25 have Rasmussen as a 7/20 favourite to become PM again followed by Thorning-Schmidt (3/1) and Dansk Folkeparti head Kristian Thulesen Dahl (9/1).

Another interesting issue will be what happens in the aftermath of the elections. Information newspaper writes that either Rasmussen or Thorning-Schmidt – whoever loses the election – will step down as head of their respective party.

Weekly Post predicts: Thorning-Schmidt calls for an election before the summer – V wins and forms a new government with the support of DF and Mette Frederiksen is named the new leader of S.

Sports: Is this Woz’s year?

Is this the year that Denmark’s tennis darling finally wins her first grand slam? It could very well come true thanks to a strong second half of 2014 that has propelled Caroline Wozniacki back into the top 10 for the first time in ages.

Jyllands-Posten newspaper believes this will be her big year, and that it will most likely come in this month’s Australian Open or the US Open in September. Her father and coach Piotr has identified winning a grand slam and finishing the year ranked in the top five as Wozniacki’s top goals for 2015.

But Serena Williams – who beat the Dane in four tournaments last year, including in the US Open final and the WTA Finals semis – is still around, and Bet25 rates Wozniacki’s chances of winning a grand slam as 3/1, offering just 1/4 on her not to win.

In football, Denmark is fancied to qualify for Euro 2016, while the talented under-21s should at the least reach the semis at Euro 2015 in the Czech Republic, which will automatically see them through to the Olympic games in Rio in 2016.

Weekly Post predicts: Wozzie loses another grand slam final, but will be ranked number 2 heading into the US Open. Denmark qualifies for Euro 2016, but the under-21s fail to live up to expectations, crashing out in the group stage and missing out on Rio.

Weather: Stormy horizons?
Last year was the warmest ever and the weather gods once again offered up two storms (Carl and Alexander) although they were lot less blowy than the two hurricane-strength efforts (Allan and Bodil) that wreaked havoc in late 2013.

The first week of 2015 has progressed rather calmly, but the erratic and extreme weather looks set to continue this year and another record of some sort is bound to be within the country’s grasp. DMI has already warned of another storm approaching the Danish shores this weekend.

Weekly Post predicts: Denmark will experience a storm during 2015 that leads to the Storm Council having to compensate for damages.

Home away: in other news
Christiania: It’s been a relatively quiet year for the free town, but can we expect fireworks when the drug trials end in mass convictions?

City Hall: With no elections on the horizons, will City Hall make any serious inroads introducing legal cannabis or more student housing?

Nørreport Station is officially reopening on January 10 (photo: Gottlieb Paludan Architects / COBE)

Nørreport: The city’s main transport hub will officially reopen on January 10. But will it be smooth sailing – it rarely is.

Fight against IS: Nothing suggests the Danish involvement in air missions against IS will end anytime soon.

Arctic: Canada, the US and Russia will all submit their bids for the Arctic continental shelf. What’s the betting the Russian submission disregards Denmark’s bid entirely?

Russian intrusion: Fingers crossed the near-misses will continue in 2015. Two near air disasters caused by Russian planes is two too many.

School reforms: The fallout looks set to continue as increasing number of teachers take sick leave. And who would bet against the new government changing it all when they get in.

Public sector employment: Negotiations are underway over the working conditions and pay of teachers, police officers, nurses and others. These are never swift affairs. The unions have to justify their existence, after all.

Lars von Trier: How will he write his new TV series, ‘The House that Jack Built’, without drugs and alcohol? And how will his fans contain their excitement?

Weekly Post predicts: Riots in Christiania, a worsening of ties with Russia over airspace and the Arctic, a turnaround of school reforms, and lengthy public sector talks that impact on services. Oh, and Lars Von Trier will appal the Emmys, although that won’t be for another five years.

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