General Election Results – First Thoughts

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We all woke up this morning to find the pollsters (like Ed Balls and Danny Alexander, some of them may be looking for a new job today) were wrong on the Election result but what will this mean for all of us.

With a handful of seats still to declare the FTSE 100 index gained 1.65 per cent in early trading and sterling has surged against the euro.

We are now unlikely to see any sort of Mansion Tax or a top rate of tax shift to 50% but will the majority Conservative party listen to the popular calls to adjust the rules on UK resident non-domicile system?  The recent pension reforms however, are likely to remain unchanged with all the advantages to investors who are looking to mitigate IHT concerns.

We will now be on course for the promised UK referendum, hard campaigning again from all the parties. Businesses will have tense wait to see how the electorate decide on the “in out” vote.

Despite winning a seat in Westminster, Alex Salmond isn’t going to be writing Labour’s Queen’s speech any time soon. The seismic shift to the SNP in Scotland raises again the devolution or even separation plans.  Much Parliamentary time may be taken up with dealing with the “Scottish” issue.  Businesses based there or with branch offices in Scotland may feel uneasy this morning about how this may pan out.

Of course already there are calls for electoral reform based on the share of the vote as turnout at 66%, with UKIP polling 13% of the vote likely to materialise in just 1 seat in Westminster compared with the SNP polling just under 5% yet achieving a mesmerising 56 MPs.  This writer would like to point out that a condition for the Coalition 5 years ago was a vote on proportional representation, which was roundly voted down by the electorate – the same electorate who are clamouring for voting change now and who will be voting for our future in Europe.

Long live democracy.

Julia Kirkland

Managing Partner