Over the last four years the government has quietly and successfully delivered a four-year programme built around the UK’s turbulent relationship with continental Europe. Read more
We are often asked by clients what the prospects are of a General Election taking place this year. Politics is becoming increasingly unpredictable these days and anything could happen, but we think it is about 70/30 that there will not be an election. Read more
The prospect of the UK crashing out of Europe grows every day
Our politicians seem more focussed on what they don’t want during transition and after Brexit, rather than a clear plan for what the UK does want. The recently resigned Brexit Minister Lord Bridges told the House of Lords of his frustration. “What do we value? Sovereignty and control or market access and trade? There are still no clear answers to these basic questions”. Angela Merkel meanwhile says “we are open to any kind of partnership but it is in the UKs hands to tell us how close a partnership it wants”. Read more
- The next government will be Conservative led, supported by the Democratic Unionist Party.
- Theresa May is continuing as Prime Minister. Her future is uncertain – remember that the Conservatives are famously ruthless at dispatching their Leaders. Ruth Davidson is the Conservative’s star of this election, with 13 gains in Scotland.
- Jeremy Corbyn will continue as Labour leader, strengthened by Labour’s better than expected performance, making gains across the country. Canterbury is Labour for the first time in a hundred years and Labour have gained Kensington. Expect more of the ‘let Corbyn be Corbyn’ strategy, with Labour doubling down on more radical policies.
- The SNP had a bad night, although coming from a high base. The Liberal Democrats had an ok result, gaining four seats overall, but not the breakthrough they were hoping for, and Nick Clegg is out of Parliament. UKIP’s vote share crashed and Paul Nuttal has resigned, with a Nigel Farage comeback possible. Caroline Lucas was returned for the Greens. Plaid gained a seat in Wales.
- Some Ministers have lost their seats and there will be a major reshuffle of the Government and the opposition frontbench. There will therefore be many new Ministers and Shadow’s to engage with.
- Policy is in flux. The Conservative manifesto will not be implemented in full, partly because of the Parliamentary arithmetic, and partly because that manifesto itself is seen as being a contributor to the Conservative’s loss.
- Brexit will happen, but not fully as planned by Theresa May when she triggered Article 50. The timetable remains the same in terms of the end date, despite the delay in getting the negotiations started.
- Parliament will be more important, with every vote on a knife edge in the Commons, and the Lords playing a stronger role.
- There could be another General Election this year. It would be very likely, were it not for the Brexit timetable.
- Public Affairs support is more important than ever in these extraordinary times – Connect are here to help.
This has been another week dominated by Brexit. Despite Zac Goldsmith’s greatest efforts, the Richmond by-election became a vote about Brexit rather than Heathrow expansion. He wouldn’t have been helped by notes from Mark Field’s aide, purportedly revealing a hard ‘have your cake and eat it’ Brexit strategy. Read more
Launching the PRCA Review of Political Predictions – Brexit, Trump and why the experts failed to see what was coming
We all got it wrong again. The city, the pollsters, the pundits and the bookies predicted Hillary Clinton would win. Read more
In a year which has seen elections in London, Scotland, Wales much of England and across the UK, it seems extraordinary that we might be subjected to another early poll. Yet rumours abound of a snap election. One hack claims MPs have been secretly taken into No. 10 to have their election photo with the new PM.
This is why I don’t think it’s going to happen. (Warning – predictions made on this blog are subject to change.) Read more
Unlike Tories and Labour, neither the SNP’s rapidly rising membership nor the recent upheavals of Brexit and a change in Prime Minister have unsettled the party machine. In stark contrast to the public airing of sectarian party divisions this conference season, the conference saw little public division. Instead the tensions within the party membership are under the surface. Long-time party members could be heard commenting on the increasingly commercial focus of the conference. Read more