May's Conservatives dwarf rivals in election campaign donations

Ivan Schwartz
Июня 1, 2017

The biggest mover in currencies was sterling, which shed as much as 0.5 percent after a YouGov poll showed the ruling Conservative Party might lose 20 of the 330 seats it holds while the opposition Labour Party could gain almost 30 seats.

May's party needs 326 to govern, therefore the loss of those seats would result in what is termed a "hung parliament". While May enjoyed a lead of more than 20 percentage points when she announced the snap election, polls published since the resumption of campaigning after the Manchester terror attack last week have shown Conservative leads varying from 4 points up to 14 points.

With all markets and polls indicating a Conservative Party victory on 8 June, political punters may find the best value voting on the 'Size of the Conservative Majority' a critical decree for Theresa May's postponed Brexit negotiations with the European Union. Smaller parties, including the Scottish National Party and Northern Irish parties, could win 83 seats, The Times newspaper quoted YouGov as predicting.

But if she does not handsomely beat the 12-seat majority Cameron won in 2015, her electoral gamble will have failed and her authority could be undermined just as she tries to deliver what she has told voters will be a successful Brexit.

That would have uncertain consquences for Britain's US$2.5 trillion (S$3.4 trillion) economy, and future government policy on everything from government spending and corporate taxation to bond issuance.

When British Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans to hold a snap election on June 8, she faced criticism from some, including those who believed the party was exploiting the low approval ratings of the Labour Party, which, they believed had little chance of winning.

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She said: "The only poll that matters is the one that takes place on June 8 - and when June 8 comes the choice that people will have is actually the same as it was at the beginning of the campaign".

That left May with an eight-point advantage compared with 15 points in a poll that closed on May 23.

And both Tory and Labour candidates said the YouGov poll defied belief given what they were seeing on the ground.

The prime minister would undoubtedly face questions over her leadership if the modelling by YouGov is proved to be accurate in just over a week, especially after she was forced into a humiliating U-turn over a proposed social care reformed dubbed the "dementia tax" by critics.

Other projections suggested May would win soundly.

It also claims Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party could be in line to gain 29 seats on the last election with 257, with the Liberal Democrats on 10 and the SNP down four seats on 50. The YouGov result allows for a wide margin of error and the pollster acknowledged that its predictions would be controversial. "A strong Conservative majority is also only a necessary, not sufficient condition for a smooth Brexit", he said.

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