Nothing gets the current affairs commentariat fired up quite like an incoming general election, as all the cards get thrown up in the air and huge amounts of power can shift from one side of the political spectrum to the other in a matter of hours.
That is the fate that awaits all the sitting presidents and prime ministers mentioned here, who must fend off attacks both from within their own respective parties as well as those from the opposition. Which men do you think will survive, and whose legacies will instead be dragged through the dirt after a brutal election campaign full of tricks and high jinks?
Of all the men on this list it can be argued that Canadian premier Justin Trudeau is resting the easiest, having boldly called a snap election back in September which many bettors and political commentators had seen coming. Indeed, the only thing that shocked people who bet on politics in Canada was that the New Democratic Party led by Jagmeet Singh came third in the popular vote, signaling a potentially seismic shift away from establishment politics once Trudeau’s second term comes to a close. Only the first-past-the-post system kept Trudeau in power this time around and his successor must build trust again to not suffer a crushing defeat that some bookies are already predicting.
Despite large swathes of the Canadian electorate voting against him, Trudeau clung to power in September’s elections
This ice cream-haired caricature has been taking the phrase “Fake it till you make it” to the extreme since coming to power in July of 2019. Taking advantage of an increasingly right-wing media landscape and other forces such as the divisive Brexit vote, he has managed to build a shoddy mandate for policies which appear to only appease himself and those closest to him. Despite this approach to politics, he was riding high in the polls for much of 2021, although that was beginning to change towards the end of the year, as images of his ill-advised Downing Street parties began to be splashed across the UK’s tabloids. All that means is that the people behind the Conservative machine believe Johnson has served his purpose and that it is time for a new stooge. That could be Labour’s Keir Starmer or the current Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak.
Britain strikes something of a bedraggled figure on the international stage, as Brexit appears to have left it with worse ties to both Europe and the US
They say that age is just a number, but not when you are President of the United States and a few months away from becoming an octogenarian. His inability to get his infrastructure bill through the Senate has now left him in a familiar holding pattern, one suffered by many presidents who don’t have a big enough mandate to push through their policy agendas. With Donald Trump out rallying his supporters in the hope that he can return to the White House himself, and Kamala Harris eager to become America’s first ever female president, it could be difficult for Biden to sell the idea of a second term to the American people, many of whom already seem pretty fed up with his silky messaging but lack of substantive action.
The French are renowned for trashing their leaders before they have even had chance to draw breath, and that has certainly applied to Emmanuel Macron. The diminutive leader only really got into power due to a reaction vote against Marine Le Pen and now he has another political rival to his right in the form of Eric Zemmour. It is unclear whether Le Pen and Zemmour will hobble each other in the next French general election or whether they will work together to oust Macron, but with Macron’s popularity plunging to all-time lows it may be time for him to step down before an election rolls around.