Andy Merricksby Andy Merricks, Head of Investments of Skerritts Wealth Management

We’ve already seen the start of the countdown to the UK General Election on May 7th this year on numerous TV and radio programmes, and the noise is going to get louder and louder when the clocks go forward. And we have to say that we find the lead-up and outcome worrying. This is not to declare a political bias, but at the moment it doesn’t appear possible to expect anything other than a muddled outcome.

The last election was significant as it was the first time in living memory that power was shared by two parties. On the face of it, it has worked pretty well. This time around though it may well be different.

The problem lay in the sheer number of likely participants in the next coalition, assuming that no one party wins an outright majority. Let’s look at the players involved. We have the Conservatives, of course, and Labour. But, as we’ve seen across the rest of Europe, there has been a surge in smaller parties grabbing market share and these fringe players will almost certainly become involved in a multi-party alliance once the votes have been counted. So, apart from the Lib Dems who everyone expects will see their vote collapse, we have the rise of UKIP and the SNP, both of which can be expected to make inroads this time around. Can one envisage a coalition between the Tories and UKIP, the Tories and the SNP, Labour and UKIP or Labour and the SNP. The answer is no, in various degrees of emphasis.

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