Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Left now winning World Cup

All of the teams have now played twice, so here is a quick update on our political World Cup guide. The right edged the opening games, but the left is now in a stronger position.

We are now confident that the democratic left will win at least four of the eight groups - with Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil (or Portugal) looking very likely group winners. Beyond that centre-left chances remain for USA or Slovenia, perhaps for Spain and (less plausibly) for Ghana/Serbia to give us a clear majority of group winners in the first round. Holland and Germany, along with chances for Switzerland and still perhaps England are the centre-right's likeliest group winners.

The global political story set out by the World Cup draw is of a fairly even balance between the right's dominance in Europe, contrasted to the democratic left's strength in Latin America and the Anglosphere outside the UK. So the South American flavour of the World Cup's opening stages have boosted the left's chances, with only Chile representing the democratic right from that continent.

So we believe the left should claim at least two semi-final spots. I am now predicting a Uruguay v Brazil semi-final; there could even be some chance of a clean sweep were Argentina and Spain to also make it to the last four, while the in-form outsiders from Paraguay could also see the draw open up for them.

The right needs Chile to knock out Spain on Friday, or Mexico to cause an upset. Otherwise it is looking to Holland and a return to form from the rest of old Europe - Germany, Italy and even England - to get back into World Cup contention.

We could never compete for World Cup pointy-headedness with 538.com who have a very helpful crib sheet of the knock-out stages.


sanbikinoraion said...

I'm sorry, did I read that right? The USA are "centre left" now??? And considered more left than the UK???

I know the US have a Democratic president at the moment, but seriously?

Bit of a credibility gap here I think.

Sunder Katwala said...

Yes, we're going for present colour of government, so I agree it is domestic context driven. The initial link explains the unlikely Slovenia + USA lineup in the England group.