Predicting the future is a mug's game. So here goes!
I think there is a real possibility that there will be another General Election within the next 12 months. Why? Because of the logic of what might reasonably be expected to happen to the Conservatives after the EU vote.
Start by assuming that the British people vote sensibly and rationally and select the best prospect for the UK economy, UK jobs, workers rights, women's rights, security and the environment. Which would be to stay in. Then ask yourself what happens in the couple of weeks after a defeat for the out camp.
Can those who campaigned to get out shrug their shoulders, accept that they have lost, and go back to business as usual? The Cameron camp will want to get on with ruling with as little trouble from the dissident right as possible. Their patience with dissidents will not be high. By contrast a great many of those who campaigned to leave will not be at all keen to shut up and accept that they have been beaten, particularly if the vote is close. Remember that in Scotland the vote to remain in won hands down but the SNP emerged massively strengthened.
If you have spent weeks campaigning to get out you don't just stop. If you have been beaten by a team led by your own party leader you won't be happy. If you sincerely believe that they only way to save the world is to pursue the radical right tea party agenda and this noble cause has just been betrayed what do you do next? Do you shut up and go away to lick your wounds? Or do you get very angry indeed. Cross enough to vote against your leader on many issues. Cross enough to try to force a leadership election to bring him down. Cross enough perhaps to decide that if you don't like the new leader there is no option left other than to split off and form your own faction that fights for what you really believe.
In such circumstances there is every chance of the government losing a motion of confidence in the House of Commons. If the economy runs into any kind of difficulties this becomes even more likely. If the scale of the cuts and the chaos generated by its endless top down, ill thought out, re-organisations of public services makes the government unpopular then the same thing happens.
I therefore think a vote to stay in is highly likely to result in a split in the Conservative Party that is bad enough for them to lose the narrow majority that they currently hold.
Now imagine that the vote to leave goes the other way. Will those who have campaigned so hard to get us out be happy to quietly put themselves under the wise leadership of those who have just lost a campaign to keep us in? If Cameron loses the vote then surely an early departure and a serious leadership campaign from the radical right becomes inevitable. Can the faction of the Conservatives which is most interested in conserving a friendly environment for business cope with quietly following the lead of a radical right that is taking their country into an economic disaster that will wreck their business interests? We have already seen significant numbers of old fashioned one nation Conservatives lining up to rebel against a series of highly unpleasant decisions by the current government such as cuts to disability payments. Will that faction be able to remain in a Conservative party fashioned in the image of Rees Mogg? Will they continually vote for every measure a new even more extremely right wing leader, drunk on the power of an exit victory, comes up with?
Logic says that there are incompatibilities in the Conservative Party which are going to be extraordinarily difficult to contain whichever way the exit vote goes. That is why I think it is more than likely that the EU vote will result in a crisis in the party and that such a crisis might easily result in a decision, either forced or voluntary, to go back to the electorate and fight a fresh General Election.
I therefore suggest that any party that has the remotest interest in helping to defeat the Conservatives at the next election needs to get ready. And that leads to my next bit of crystal ball gazing. I predict that none of the other political parties will be sufficiently well organised, united and clear in their proposals to take full advantage of the opportunity.
I suggest we all start looking hard and long at the practical policies we intend to put before the electors. The UK is in the middle of a very important ideological battle where the public is yet to be convinced that any politician can be trusted to take us forward. After the debacle of the 2008 economic failure of extreme free market policies and the lies about increasing UK security by getting involved in bad wars they have become deeply angry and deeply cynical with all politicians. For good reason.
If we do not prepare ourselves to go into a fresh election with well thought out policies then we will not win back their trust. If we cannot explain those policies clearly and easily to ordinary people who don't have politics as their hobby then we will not win the arguments. If we have not done the basic groundwork of trying to connect properly with ordinary people in local communities up and down the country then they are unlikely to trust us. The nasty right are busily taking the opportunity to persuade a very dangerous number of people that the real answer to their problems is to get rid of all those pesky immigrants. We have to take their threat seriously and do the real work that is necessary to convince people that there is a much more constructive way forward. Or we will lose.
I hope that particular prediction is alarmist nonsense. But then again we live in a world where people take Donald Trump seriously and I never predicted that!