General Election update

Alan Heron, Head of Procurement


Politics. It’s a funny old game. The last 24 hours have seen yet another unpredictable outcome in our political landscape.

On 18 April, Theresa May unexpectedly announced that she planned to call a ‘snap’ general election. The Prime Minister declared that she was calling the general election in order to create a mandate which would strengthen her hand in the critical upcoming Brexit negotiations. The conservatives had a small majority of 5 seats from the David Cameron led general election of 2015, and Theresa May intended to increase that, to ratify her Brexit strategy and improve her potential leverage with Brussels in the upcoming negotiations.

This morning’s results however have been an unmitigated disaster for Theresa May and the Conservative party. Not only have they failed to increase their majority, they have lost it. At the time of writing the blog this morning, the Conservatives are predicted to secure 318 seats (a loss of 13 seats), with Labour set to secure 261 (a gain of 29). IT has also been a disastrous night for other parties – particularly the SNP and UKIP, both losing significant and strategic seats.

Seven Conservative ministers have also lost their seats in the aftermath of the election. This includes Gavin Barwell, meaning that we will require the appointment of a third housing minister within a 12 month period.

What does this mean for Brexit?

The UK’s Brexit plans have been plunged into uncertainty following this morning results. No matter what the final standing are in terms of seats won, Theresa May has clearly failed to secure the mandate that she sought to deliver the hard Brexit she wanted.

When she called the election, she declared: "Every vote for the Conservatives will make me stronger when I negotiate for Britain with the prime ministers, presidents and chancellors of the European Union."

This morning’s results significantly undermine that hope. Theresa May is certainly not stronger, She has fewer seats than she started with, and is facing calls for her resignation.

The Brexit negotiations are due to start in only nine days’ time, but there is much speculation that these will now have to be delayed.

What role does procurement have?

The pound this morning has seen its biggest single day drop of the year – down more than 2% against the dollar, and a similar drop of just under 2% against the Euro.

The CBI and business leaders this morning are calling for stability as the pound fluctuates, costs continue to rise, and the already uncertain post-Brexit future became even more uncertain.

The only constant is change. Can procurement help organisations to deal with the ever-increasing levels of change and uncertainty we find ourselves surrounded by? Absolutely. Come and visit us at CIH Housing in Manchester (27-29 June) where we’ll be delivering a session on 'Post-Brexit: What Lies Ahead?', or visit us on stand D34, to find out how Procurement Hub can help your organisation to navigate through the choppy waters which lie ahead.

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