The 2015 General Election is over, and the people have spoken in a decisive way.
The Conservative Party has won an overall majority with 331 seats (delegates) out of a total 650. This is the first time in over 100 years that a party in power has increased both its number of delegates and percentage of the vote.
The UK is, and will remain, a strong and large economy which is open for business following one of the most decisive elections in many years. The economic policy for the UK continues therefore very much along the same path for the next 5 years, and both the Stock Market and the currency (GBP) strengthened when the result became clear.
The policies which have produced strong economic growth, job creation and a downward pressure on government spending will be with us for another 5 years.
UK Independence Party, with its strong anti-immigration and anti EU message, got only one delegate, to the despair of some and the joy of others.
The UK is, and will remain, a strong and large economy which is open for business following one of the most decisive elections in many years.
Next comes the promised EU referendum due by the end of 2017. Considerations include the fact that Germany and France have important elections in 2017 and have domestic issues, coupled with a significant number of Euro sceptic delegates in both domestic and European Parliaments.
Very few people in the UK would want to change the four fundamental freedoms of the EU, but they would like to see a reduction in the powers of what they see as the bureaucratic centre to interfere in the domestic affairs of Member States, and a reduction in the kind of waste which comes from the monthly move to Strasbourg for example.
Finally, it is unlikely that an experienced politician would hold a referendum if they thought they were going to lose, and all major UK political parties want to stay in the EU.
I am therefore confident that the UK will remain a strong and growing economy and a reliable partner within the EU.
UK elections are not on a Proportional Representation basis, rather “first past the post”, so each party has to win the most votes for their candidate in each seat. Coming 2nd gets you nothing.
The UK Independence Party achieved only 1 delegate even though they received 12.6% of the total votes and this is less than many right wing anti EU parties have achieved in other EU countries. The winning Conservatives received 36.9% of the total votes and have 331 delegates. However unfair this might seem, it is unlikely to change as the current system favours the larger established political parties, especially Labour and Conservative, who together have 563 delegates and 67.3% of the vote.
Scottish Nationalists (SNP) did well in Scotland, taking delegates from both Labour and Liberal, but did not achieve the balance of power they had hoped for. Whether they will retain this dominant position in Scotland at the next election in 5 years’ time remains to be seen.
Martin Williams, Managing Director EBS