Magazine article Public Finance

May Makes It Snappy

Magazine article Public Finance

May Makes It Snappy

Article excerpt

In last month's edition I reflected on springtime and surprises. Little did I know that the biggest surprise of all was to come and we'd be facing a snap general election on 8 June. With one brief statement, the prime minister has ensured 2017 will assume a dramatically different cast and what were once certainties have melted away.

Theresa May's shock announcement sent the political world into a spin, put parties and MPs on notice, and gave commentators plenty to chew over - the Telegraph's Philip Johnston shares his insights and predictions on page 19. One oddity is the local and mayoral elections on 4 May - once set to mark a new dawn for devolution, now more likely to be regarded as a minor inconvenience and distraction from the bigger national campaign. There's a real risk that turnout will be depressed as people wait until June to cast a ballot they regard as more important.

We have seen the end (for now) of some high-profile political careers. While we can't be sure of the exact result (although with polls the way they are, few would bet against a larger Conservative majority and a more dominant May), we do know that the next House of Commons will look quite different to the house it is replacing. George Osborne and Sir Eric Pickles - key figures for PF over the last few years - will no longer sit, the Liberal Democrats are pinning hopes on a bounce back, and in Scotland, the Scottish National Party's supreme hold on power may falter in the face of renewed Conservative and unionist sentiment. …

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