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4 May 2017 How to Interpret the Results from Today's Local Elections (Publication Centre)

Today's local elections are more important than usual, because they will enable investors to assess if the Conservatives really are on track for a landslide victory in the general election, as suggested by the opinion polls and priced-in by the forex market.

5 June 2017 The Election Race is Still Tightening, Setting up Sterling for More Volatility (Publication Centre)

The Conservatives' opinion poll lead continued to decline over the last week, suggesting that a landslide victory on Thursday no longer is likely. Indeed, the Tories' average lead over Labour in the 10 most recent opinion polls has fallen to just 6%, down from a peak of nearly 20% a month ago.

9 June 2017 Markets Continue to Distrust Opinion Polls Indicating a Tight Race (Publication Centre)

The final flurry of opinion polls indicates that voting intentions have changed little over the last few days. The Conservatives have an average lead over Labour of 7.5% in the final p olls conducted by 10 different agencies, only slightly more than their 6.5% lead at the 2015 election.

30 May 2017 Should Investors Start to Fear a Hung Parliament? (Publication Centre)

The Conservatives' opinion poll rating has fallen dramatically over the last 10 days or so, pushing sterling down and forcing investors to confront the possibility that Theresa May might not increase her majority much from the current paltry 17 MPs.

31 May 2017 Manifestos Point to Very Different Public Borrowing Paths (Publication Centre)

The recent narrowing of the Conservatives' opinion poll lead suggests that investors, particularly in the gilt market, now must consider other parties' fiscal proposals.

25 April 2017 Are Further Tax Rises After the Election Inevitable? (Publication Centre)

The Prime Minister's refusal last week to reaffirm her party's 2015 election pledge not to raise income tax, National Insurance or VAT has fuelled speculation that taxes will rise if the Conservatives are re-elected on June 8. Admittedly, Mrs. May asserted that her party "believes in lower taxes", and the tax pledge s till might appear in the Conservatives' manifesto, which won't be published for a few weeks.

20 February 2017 Should Sterling Investors Fear a Snap General Election? (Publication Centre)

Elections will be held on Thursday in two constituencies vacated recently by Labour MPs. Betting markets are pricing-in a 70% chance that the Conservatives will win the by-election in Copeland--even though they trailed Labour there by eight points in the general election in 2015--mainly because around 60% of Copeland's electorate voted to leave the EU last year.

17 March 2017 Embattled Pro-EU Parties Secure Decisive Victory in the Netherlands (Publication Centre)

Centrist politicians and markets breathed a sigh of relief yesterday as the results of the Dutch parliamentary elections rolled in. The incumbent conservatives, led by PM Mark Rutte, lost ground but emerged as parliament's biggest party with 33 seats out of the total 150.

25 May 2017 Second Estimate of Q1 GDP to Confirm Sharp Slowdown (Publication Centre)

We expect the second estimate of Q1 GDP, released today, to restate that quarter-on-quarter growth slowed to just 0.3%, from 0.7% in Q4. The second estimate of growth rarely is different to the first.

24 April 2017 Past Errors Mean Investors Should Treat the Latest Polls Cautiously (Publication Centre)

Sterling jumped last week to its highest level against the dollar since last October in response to news that a general election will be held on June 8. Markets are betting that the Conservative Government will sharply increase its majority, enabling Theresa May to ignore Eurosceptic backbenchers when she strikes a deal with the EU.

7 June 2017 A Tory Victory Wouldn't Necessarily Boost Sterling this Time (Publication Centre)

Predicting which way markets would move in response to potential general election outcomes has been relatively straightforward in the past. But the usual rules of thumb will not apply when the election results filter through after polling stations close on Thursday evening.

7 March 2017 The Chancellor Isn't Bluffing, This Will Be a Thrifty Budget (Publication Centre)

If the Chancellor is true to his word, Wednesday's Budget will be a pedestrian affair with few major policy changes designed to prevent the economy from slowing this year. In an article in The Sunday Times, Philip Hammond asserted that "we cannot take our foot off the pedal" in the mission to eliminate the budget deficit by the end of the next parliament.

22 November 2017 "Spreadsheet Phil" Unlikely to Alter Austerity Formula (Publication Centre)

Public sector borrowing still is on course to greatly undershoot the March Budget forecasts this year, despite October's poor figures.

9 May 2017 Does the Economy Thrive Under "Strong and Stable" Government? (Publication Centre)

The Prime Minister has argued repeatedly during the general election campaign that Britain will prosper under a "strong and stable" Conservative government with a large majority. "Division in Westminster," she argued when calling the election last month, "...will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country."

05 October. 2016 Construction Still Set to Struggle, Despite the Looser Fiscal Stance (Publication Centre)

Promises of new money to facilitate construction on public sector land from the Chancellor and the pick-up in the construction PMI have fostered optimism that the sector's downturn is over.

14 November 2017 Are Investors Complacent to Expect a Smooth Brexit Transition in 2019? (Publication Centre)

Sterling weakened yesterday, to $1.31 from $1.32, following news that 40 Conservative MPs have agreed to sign a letter of no-confidence in the Prime Minister.

21 March 2017 Will Investors Shorting Sterling Remain Frustrated? (Publication Centre)

Speculators who have sold sterling over the last six months have been frustrated. Investors have been overwhelmingly net short sterling, but the pound has hovered between $1.20 and $1.25, as our first chart shows. Undeterred, investors increased their net short positions last week to 107K contracts-- the most since records began in 1992--from 81K a week earlier.

19 April 2017 Markets Overlook the Downside Risks from June's Snap Election (Publication Centre)

Prime Minister Theresa May's announcement that Parliament will vote today on holding a general election on June 8 shocked markets and even her own party's MPs. Betting markets were pricing in only a 20% chance of a 2017 election before yesterday's news.

2 May 2017 Can Sterling's Recovery Gather More Momentum? (Publication Centre)

Sterling continued to recover last week, hitting its highest level against the dollar since October, despite a series of data releases indicating that the economy is losing momentum. Indeed, sterling was unscathed by the news on Friday that quarter-on-quarter GDP growth slowed to just 0.3% in Q1, from 0.7% in Q4.

21 November 2017 Cutting Stamp Duty for FTBs Will Boost Prices, not Home Ownership (Publication Centre)

Reforms to Stamp Duty Land Tax paid by first-time buyers likely will take centre stage in the Budget. At the Conservatives' party conference, Theresa May pledged another £10B to expand the Help to Buy Scheme, which helps first-time buyers obtain a mortgage which just a 5% deposit.

16 May 2017 Sterling and Elections: Evidence from the Past Five Decades (Publication Centre)

It's now four weeks since the Prime Minister called a snap general election, and the Conservatives still are riding high in the opinion polls. The average of the last 10 polls suggests that the Tories are on track to take 47% of the vote, well above Labour's 30%.

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