18 Jan 2018

Election: fever or fog?

Mrs May’s decision to call a General Election on June 8 had little immediate impact on financial markets.  Nor is it likely to cause any major wobbles over the next few weeks since the polls show a high likelihood of an increased parliamentary majority for the Conservatives.

More interesting questions will arise during the course of the campaign. If, as expected, Labour plays its socialist cards well – the NHS, workers’ rights, education –  could it recover much of the ground it has lost over the past 18 months?

Could the LibDems return from the dead? Could the Greens gain a couple more seats? Will the SNP retain their stranglehold on Scotland?

Whatever the result, the opposition parties that set out a different version of BREXIT (socialist, Green, liberal, Scottish) will feel much bolder in attacking the government’s BREXIT plans. That may not pose much of a threat in the House of Commons, but it is possible that the real battleground will turn out to be the House of Lords, where the Tories have no majority and Remainers do.

It may also turn out that Mrs May has given Mrs Sturgeon the referendum she wanted two years early, for the SNP is sure to treat the campaign as a basis for Scottish independence and EU membership.

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