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49 matches for "conservatives":
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.
The recent narrowing of the Conservatives' opinion poll lead suggests that investors, particularly in the gilt market, now must consider other parties' fiscal proposals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Later today, the Chancellor likely will take the first step towards abandoning plans for further fiscal tightening. In
Both the E.U. and the U.K. government have been keen to emphasise, since the Withdrawal Agreement was provisionally signed off, that March 29 is a hard deadline for Brexit.
Theresa May doubled down on her Brexit stance last week, despite European Council President Donald Tusk stating clearly that her proposed framework for economic cooperation "will not work" because it risks undermining the single market.
The pressure on Theresa May from Brexiteers within her own party intensified yesterday, when 60 Conservative MPs signed a letter arguing that they could not back a proposal for a "customs partnership".
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.
One of the more disheartening aspects of the Q2 national accounts, released last week, was the downward revision to business investment. Quarteron-quarter growth was revised to -0.7%, from +0.5% previously.
The latest public finance figures continue to imply that the Chancellor will be able to change course later this year in the Autumn Budget so that fiscal policy doesn't drag on GDP growth next year.
Public sector borrowing still is on course to greatly undershoot the March Budget forecasts this year, despite October's poor figures.
Speculation that the U.K. will end up leaving the E.U. in March without a deal has dominated the headlines over the last month. Politicians on both sides of the Channel have warned that the probability of a no-deal Brexit is at least as high as 50%, even though more than 80% of the withdrawal deal already has been agreed.
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.
The Chancellor will struggle to make his Spring Statement heard on March 13 over the noise of next week's key Brexit votes in parliament, likely spanning from March 12 to 14.
The Treasury has tried to dampen expectations for Tuesday's Spring Statement, which has replaced the Autumn Statement since the Budget was moved last year to November.
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."
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.
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.
We're relatively optimistic--yes, you read that correctly--on the outlook for the U.K. economy in 2019.
September's Markit/CIPS PMIs indicate that the economy still is stuck in a low gear.
With less than a week to go until MPs' meaningful vote on Brexit legislation, on December 11, the Prime Minister still looks set to lose.
The Chancellor's decision immediately to spend all the proceeds from the OBR's upgrade to its projections for tax receipts appears to leave his plans exposed to future adverse revisions to the economic outlook.
Investors have become more concerned about a no-deal Brexit.
The Chancellor kept his word and made only trivial policy changes in the Spring Statement, but he hinted at higher spending plans in the Autumn Budget.
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.
Even if the Prime Minister fends off an emerging leadership challenge--as we write, the rebels still are short of the 48 signatures required to trigger a confidence vote--her chances of getting parliament to back the Withdrawal Agreement in its current form are slim.
Sterling held on to its recent gains yesterday despite mounting speculation that Eurosceptic Conservative MPs are plotting a leadership challenge.
The government remains on course to lose next Tuesday's Commons vote on the Withdrawal Agreement--WA--by a huge margin.
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.
Sterling fell to $1.38, from $1.39, in the hour following the EU's publication of a draft Article 50 withdrawal treaty, which set out the practical consequences of the principles the U.K. agreed to in December.
Signs that the government is softening its Brexit plans, in response to its substantial defeat in the Commons last week, has enabled sterling to recover most of the ground lost against the dollar and euro in the fourth quarter of last year.
Former Chancellor George Osborne famously quipped after last year's general election that Theresa May was "a dead woman walking and the only question is how long she remains on death row".
The vote in the House of Commons today on whether MPs should effectively take control of Brexit negotiations, if Theresa May can't strike a deal by mid-January, looks finely balanced.
As we write, 25 Conservative MPs have confirmed publicly that they have submitted no-confidence letters to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee. That's 23 short of the 48 required to trigger a leadership contest, though some MPs might have submitted letters without making it public.
Our forecast that CPI inflation will return to the 2% target by the end of 2018 sets us apart from the MPC and consensus, which expect a more modest decline, to 2.4%.
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.
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.
The decision by seven MPs to abandon Labour and set up a new centrist grouping--the Independent Group--will not have a significant impact on the outcome of parliamentary Brexit votes.
The RICS Residential Market Survey caught our eye last week for reporting that new sale instructions to estate agents rose in May for the first month since February 2016.
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%.
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.
Samuel Tombs has focused on the U.K. economy since 2009. Prior to joining Pantheon, he was Senior U.K. Economist at Capital Economics, leading the team which topped the 2014 Sunday Times' poll of forecasters. In 2011, Samuel won the Society of Business Economists' prestigious Rybczynski Prize for an article on quantitative easing in the UK.
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