Foresight News looks ahead to the key events in the calendar for 2024 that need to be in your news diary. Events are as planned at time of writing, but subject to change as the year goes on.
2024 is not just an election year – it’s the election year. On top of the UK polls that could see Labour return to power after 14 years and the potential Joe Biden–Donald Trump rematch in the US, there are elections in at least 60 countries next year, including the likes of India, South Africa, Indonesia, Russia, Taiwan, and potentially Japan.
Some of the major themes from this year will continue into 2024, including the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, the ongoing battle against inflation and its impacts, and attempts to tackle illegal migration in the UK and Europe. It’s also a bumper year for sports, with the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games, Euro 2024 in Germany, and the T20 World Cup all on the calendar. Read on for a closer look at some of the key events we expect to lead the news in 2024.
For a more comprehensive overview, our 2024 calendar is now available for download to help keep you ahead of the news agenda next year.
One of the early big stories of the year comes on January 5 when South African former Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius, who was jailed for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013, is due to be released from prison on parole.
Awards season kicks off with the Golden Globes on January 7, followed by Oscar nominations on January 23.
The Commons returns from recess on January 8 to resume tussling over the Rwanda Bill, while January 18 marks the deadline for an agreement on restoring the Executive government in Northern Ireland to avoid fresh elections.
In the US, the Republican nomination process officially begins with the Iowa caucuses on January 15.
Notable elections this month include Bangladesh (January 7), Taiwan, (January 13), and Finland (January 28), as well as delayed municipal elections in Israel (January 30).
A big news day to start off the month: February 1 marks the first Bank of England interest rate decision of the year, the start of the government’s ban on XL bully dogs, and the end of the Premier League’s winter transfer window.
Sentencing takes place on February 2 for two teenagers convicted of the murder of Brianna Ghey, with the judge ruling the pair can be named at the hearing.
Awards season continues with the Grammy Awards on February 4 and the BAFTA film awards on February 18, while Super Bowl LVIII on February 11 is likely to get more attention for its halftime show and adverts than for the football on this side of the pond.
The release of GDP figures for the final quarter of 2023 on February 15 will confirm whether or not the UK entered recession at the end of the year after revised figures showed a 0.1% contraction between July and September.
Ukraine will be back in the news as NATO defence ministers meet ahead of the opening of the Munich Security Conference on February 16, just a week before the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion on February 24.
It’s a busy month in international elections, with votes scheduled in El Salvador (February 4), Azerbaijan (February 7), Pakistan (February 8), Indonesia (February 14), Belarus, Iraqi Kurdistan and Senegal (February 25).
Get your predictions ready: March sees the start of the F1 season in Bahrain as well as the BRIT Awards on March 2, followed by the Oscars on March 10 and the final round of the Six Nations tournament on March 16.
Assuming the date holds, Donald Trump’s trial in DC over the 2020 election and events of 6 January is set to begin on March 4 in what would be the first time in history that a former president stands trial on criminal charges.
The Liberal Democrats get an early start on election prep with their spring conference from March 15, and Belgium and the IAEA co-chair the first Nuclear Energy Summit looking at the role of nuclear in reducing fossil fuels on March 21.
Big elections this month include parliamentary polls in Iran (March 1), the inevitable re-election of Vladimir Putin in Russia (March 17), and presidential elections due in Ukraine (March 31), though these are subject to a fierce debate over whether it’s possible to hold them while the war is ongoing.
The first expansion of free childcare announced in the 2023 budget comes into effect on April 1 as all two-year-olds become eligible for 15 hours of free care, and we’ll also see what’s predicted to be a significant drop in the energy price cap.
North Americans will be treated to a total solar eclipse on April 8, while Boeing has targeted April 14 for the launch of its first manned Starliner mission to the ISS.
Liz Truss’ book on saving the West from the “global left” is released on April 16, the same day the IMF publishes its latest World Economic Outlook.
And sports fans have plenty to look forward to this month with the opening of the County Championship cricket season (April 5), the Grand National (April 13) and the London Marathon (April 21).
Elections are scheduled in South Korea on April 10 but there’s still no date for those expected in India this month when Narendra Modi’s future will be decided.
If a general election hasn’t already been called for the spring, Rishi Sunak will get an early taste of how things might go with local elections on May 2, which also include the mayoral election in London.
Fans of celebrities and extravagant costumes will be treated to a week bookended by the Met Gala on May 6, the Eurovision grand final on May 11 and the BAFTA TV Awards on May 12.
Analysts who are predicting a UK interest rate cut by this month will find out if they’re right as the Bank of England makes its latest decision on May 9, the same day Vladimir Putin takes to the streets of Moscow for his country’s annual Victory Day celebrations, which are likely to focus as much on Ukraine as on the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.
In sport, an exciting Premier League season comes to a close on May 19, followed closely by the FA Cup final on May 25.
Trump is due back in court on May 20, this time in his classified documents case, though this could be postponed.
And big-budget blockbusters Furiosa and Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes are scheduled for release on May 24.
Key elections this month include votes in Panama on May 5 and in South Africa, where the beleaguered ANC faces a host of economic and social problems after 30 years in power.
The Champions League final on June 1 rounds out the club football season, just before the T20 World Cup opens in the US and West Indies on June 4.
The US and Europe mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings on June 6, the same day elections to the European Parliament get underway, and Italy hosts the G7 Summit in Puglia on June 13.
Global pop superstar Taylor Swift brings her Eras tour to the UK, starting in Edinburgh on June 7, while England’s latest attempt to bring football home kicks off on June 14 as Germany hosts Euro 2024.
The re-trial of Britain’s worst child serial killer, Lucy Letby, begins on June 10, which could see her convicted of more charges.
As the month ends, revellers will flock to Worthy Farm for their annual pilgrimage to Glastonbury, with gates opening on June 26, while those who remain in London can celebrate at the London Pride Parade on June 29.
And June 30 marks a deadline for the “Big Four” firms to complete separation of their audit practices following a Financial Reporting Council order in 2020.
Aside from the European Parliament elections, the most interesting polls this month are in Mexico on June 2, when the country is expected to elect its first female leader.
Public hearings for the second tranche of the inquiry into undercover policing operations in England and Wales get underway on July 1 following an interim report published earlier this year.
Wimbledon also opens on July 1, kicking off two weeks of intense sporting action that culminates with the men’s final, the Euro 2024 final, and the Copa America final all taking place on July 14.
Four crew members participating in NASA’s year-long Mars habitat stay emerge on July 7, while Washington plays host to the NATO Summit on July 9 as the bloc marks its 75th anniversary in 2024.
Though the winner may be known much earlier in the year, the Republican presidential candidate is officially named at Republican National Convention, which opens in Milwaukee on July 15, while politicians in the UK will set their sights on the biennial Farnborough Airshow on July 22.
And the summer of sport continues as the Paris Olympic Games open on July 26. Team GB athletes to look out for include track postergirl and Tokyo 2020 games athletics captain Dina Asher-Smith, men’s sprint hope Zharnel Hughes, heptathlon world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson, track cycling sprinters Jack Carlin and Emma Finucane and gymnasts Jessica Gadirova and Jake Jarman.
While the result of Rwanda’s July 15 election will be no surprise, expect some interest in the UK as another 99% win for Paul Kagame would reignite the debate around the nation’s safe-country status in the government’s plans to tackle illegal migration.
The UK’s progress towards reducing inflation will be reflected in the Bank of England’s interest rate decision and Monetary Policy Report on August 1, while commuters will be looking ahead to July RPI figures due out on August 14 for hints at next year’s rail fare increases.
The Edinburgh Fringe kicks off on August 2, while a highlight of the Olympic Games comes on August 3 and 4 with the men’s and women’s 100m finals.
Students receive their A-level results on August 15 (the same day as Q2 GDP figures are out) followed by GCSEs on August 22 (also the start of the closely-watched Kansas City Fed Annual Economic Symposium).
While there isn’t a serious challenge to Joe Biden’s candidacy for November’s election, the party will make it official at the Democratic National Convention, which opens in Chicago on August 19.
Festival season and the summer reach their informal end with the Reading and Leeds Festival on August 23, the Notting Hill Carnival on August 25 and the start of the US Open on August 26. But we’ll try to stretch that summer feeling a little further as the Paralympic Games open two days later on August 28.
The second stage of the government’s childcare expansion, extending free care to children as young as nine months, comes in on September 1, which also marks the 85th anniversary of the beginning of WWII.
The TUC holds its annual conference on September 8, which could see unions gearing up for an election fight or trying to find their footing with a new (or not-so-new) government. The political world returns in earnest from its summer hiatus as the Liberal Democrat autumn conference kicks off on September 14, followed by Labour on September 22 and the Conservative Party on September 29 – all of which could have wildly different focuses depending on the timing of an election.
In the US, the first presidential debate takes place on September 16, while world leaders will descend on New York for the UN Summit of the Future on September 22 followed by the annual UN General Assembly General Debate from September 24.
The possibility of an autumn election means October could be a pivotal month in 2024, whether the country is preparing to go to the polls or assessing the first steps of a new government – watch out for the Tory leader’s speech on October 2.
There will be lots for campaigning leaders to grapple with on foreign policy: the second and third US presidential debates are scheduled for October 1 and 9, a new NATO Secretary General is due to take up the post this month, and the anniversary of the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 will be a significant milestone for the region whether or not the war is still ongoing. The anniversary comes just days before the announcement of the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize on October 11, while this year marks 30 years since Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat won the prize for their efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East.
Domestically, a long-awaited inquiry into the death of Dawn Sturgess, who died after being exposed to the nerve agent Novichok in 2018, will open in London on October 14, and the CHOGM meeting opening in Samoa on October 21 is likely to see King Charles undertake travel to the region, including stops in Australia and New Zealand.
The UK will set the agenda at the UN when it assumes the presidency of the Security Council on November 1, though whatever is planned will be overshadowed by the US presidential election on November 5, likely involving a rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
Whoever the UK prime minister is come November, they’ll have a chance to set out their response to the result with a traditional foreign policy speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet on November 11 before tackling the COP29 climate summit in Azerbaijan (opening on the same day) and heading off to Brazil for the G20 Summit on November 18.
Moving from the global stage to the very local, an employment tribunal involving Birmingham City Council on November 25 could see the authority liable for hundreds of millions of pounds in payouts.
It’s highly likely that we’ll have a new government by the time the next festive period comes around, but if not there’s one major milestone to look out for: the deadline to dissolve the current Parliament falls on December 17, which would mean a January 2025 election to look forward to.
There are two missions hoping to launch to Venus this month, with Rocket Lab’s probe aiming for December 30 and the Indian space agency’s Venus Orbiter hoping to launch in the same window.
There are more major deadlines as the year comes to a close, with a vote due by December 31 in the Northern Ireland Assembly on Article 5-10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol and the Russia-Ukraine gas transit deal due to expire. The UK is also planning to adopt Pillar 2 of the OECD’s tax reforms on the final day of the year.
The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.
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