Another narrow victory for David ‘Lucky’ Cameron, economic turbulence and the continuing rise of Ruth Davidson ... it's all ahead of us in 2016.

1. The European Referendum will seem like a rerun of Scotland’s vote in 2014. David Cameron will come back from his negotiations with the other European leaders, with some kind of ‘victory’ for his British agenda on migrant benefits. He will be praised by Angela Merkel, who is desperate to avoid Brexit. But it will make no difference to the polls, which will remain very close all the way to the end (at the moment they are level pegging). Cameron’s ‘victory’ will be torn apart by almost all of the UK media. And the public won’t be moved by it either. Recent polling shows that ‘migrant benefits’ is only a pressing issue for around 20% of Tory voters.

As for the rest of Cameron’s agenda, it seems we really couldn’t care less. The ‘Leave’ campaign will play cleverly on UK voters’ deep mistrust of European political institutions, which – according to the EU’s own figures – is staggeringly high, and has been so for most of the last decade. Boris Johnson and at least three members of the cabinet will openly campaign for Brexit, resulting in at least one poll near the end showing a lead for ‘Leave’.

But then ‘Project Fear’, or maybe we should call it ‘Project Panic’, will kick in. As happened in Scotland, President Obama and other world leaders will make a blatant pitch for the UK to stay in. A whole series of major businesses will threaten to leave the country, with plans already in place soon after the vote is concluded. Sterling will slide dramatically.

And then, guess what? David Cameron, probably the luckiest person ever to occupy Downing Street, will scrape through by five or six percentage points. The whole experience will leave a bitter aftertaste that could last for years. Millions of people who voted ‘Leave’ will feel cheated. Nigel Farage will call for a new campaign to get out within a decade.

And back in Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP team will have to do some serious rethinking on strategy, now that the Brexit opportunity for a new Scottish referendum has vanished.

2. The world economy will suffer at least one serious shock this year. The signs of danger are all around us. In a repeat of last year’s dramas, China started 2016 by shutting its stock market to avoid a big slump in prices. How long can this kind of drastic action continue before the inevitable happens? We can only guess just how much trouble China’s economy is really in, but it’s clear the slowdown will continue for a while, with all of the negative impact that has on developing economies and commodities markets.

What about the rest of the world? America’s Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again, after the first one in 2015. This will have to be managed with extreme care, to avoid a flood of money away from emerging markets back to the dollar.

Elsewhere, the Eurozone will continue to bump along the bottom. George Osborne has already warned us this week that the UK faces a very challenging economic environment in 2016. And remember the BRICs? It stood for Russia, China, India and Brazil. They were the golden, fast-growth economies that were going to propel us into a new era of global expansion. We know about the troubles in China and Russia, the latter dragged down by tumbling oil and gas prices. And now Brazil’s economy is predicted to fall by at least 2.5% this year. That leaves India, which might just manage to be a continuing beacon of hope with a pro-business government that is committed to removing the old shackles from the economy.

Despite all of this turbulence in the global-macro economy, we will continue to see exciting innovations in technology and the digital economy, and new signs of investment in green energy after the conclusion of the Paris Climate talks in December.

3. Holyrood. Scottish Conservatives will snatch second place from Labour after gaining 20% of the vote. Ruth Davidson is increasingly being seen as an attractive, forward-looking leader. Her positive, upbeat tone and personal backstory are perhaps more in tune with modern Scotland (and Britain) than any other current party leader. She has the ability to make the others seem positively old-fashioned. As for Labour, Kezia Dugdale is way too new to make any real impact. And if Labour Scotland is expecting a ‘Corbyn effect’ to boost their vote, I think they will be sorely disappointed. With his North London priorities and passions, I don’t see Jeremy Corbyn having any more appeal in Scotland than Ed Miliband.

4. The Chilcott Report into the Iraq War will finally be published, after a further delay to the autumn of 2016. But it will leave us none the wiser about what actually happened during that turbulent period. The extremely lengthy ‘Maxwellisation’ process will leave Chilcott so weighed down by qualifications and contrary opinions that it will be impossible to reach any meaningful conclusions. Despite this, Tony Blair will declare that he has been vindicated by an official Iraq enquiry for the third time. David Cameron will say as little as possible.

5. After standing down as London Mayor, Boris Johnson will get a cabinet job, but not one of the three great Offices of State. Osborne’s job is obviously out of the question. Philip Hammond is too solid and increasingly impressive in his handling of foreign affairs. And, barring disaster, Theresa May is unmoveable at the Homes Office. It’s also hard to see Sajid Javid from Trade & Industry. So it’s a mid-level cabinet job for Boris. My prediction would be Environment, after yet another year of flooding disasters.

6. Once the London Mayor’s election is safely out of the way, the Government will surprise everyone by opting for Gatwick rather than Heathrow as the choice for the next airport runway. Despite Heathrow being favoured by the Davies Report, it is very hard to see how it can pass the environmental tests which the Government has now put in its way.

7. In sport, despite all of its economic problems, Rio will host a spectacular Olympics. In tennis, Novak Djokovic has nowhere to go except down after his stunning 2015. Roger Federer must finally start fading with advancing years. Nadal is still crocked. So step forward Andy Murray for his third Grand Slam and second US Open. And, of course, Falkirk will pip Rangers for the Scottish Championship title, probably the least controversial of my predictions for 2016.