The 20 Percent World

The odds of the unthinkable are going up.

The odds are changing.

Photographer: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

If you want to pick a number for 2016, how about 20 percent? Look around the politics of the Western world, and you'll see that a lot of once-unthinkable ideas and fringe candidates suddenly have a genuine chance of succeeding. The odds are usually somewhere around one in five -- not probable, but possible. This “20 percent world” is going to set the tone in democracies on both sides of the Atlantic -- not least because, as anybody who bets on horse racing will tell you, eventually one of these longshots is going to canter home. 

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