Four of History’s Worst Political Predictions
How people got it wrong on Churchill, Roosevelt, and more.
It certainly has been a year of unpredictable elections.
This summer, the United Kingdom shocked the world with its vote to leave the European Union (aka “Brexit”). And on Tuesday, the United States elected Donald Trump as its president, which many leading election predictors did not foresee.
This isn’t the first time that politicians, journalists, and pollsters have gotten it wrong. Here are some of the worst political predictions in history.
When the French Second Republic held its first presidential elections in 1848, elites thought General Louis-Eugène Cavaignac would easily defeat his rival, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, who was the nephew of Napoleon I.
To their surprise, the victor was Bonaparte, “whose populist instincts and defence of law and order, combined with his second-hand