The Great Debate UK

Full-time results: they all lost the election

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Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Could there have been a worse outcome to Britain’s General Election?

The result was disappointing for all concerned. The three main parties all did worse than expected, as did the nationalists. On the lunatic fringe, only the Greens have reason to rejoice – none of the others were anywhere near winning a seat.

In the meantime, Britain is fortunate that the financial markets have plenty of other countries to worry about. The only thing stopping a collapse in the pound and panic in the gilts market is that, for the moment at least, investors cannot see a more attractive (or less unattractive) alternative.

The Eurozone is in chaos, Japan appears to be in long term decline with the constant threat of a descent into chaos under its erratic new government and, as for the U.S. – it is hard to have much confidence in a country which has all of Britain’s problems writ large, plus near-bankrupt subnational (i.e. state and city) governments and, worst of all, no apparent appetite for actually doing anything (certainly not anything the slightest bit painful) to remedy the situation.

Tory-LibDem pact looks good for UK, but is unlikely

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-Ian Campbell is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.-

The UK’s third political party faces an ugly dilemma. Which way it turns will be critical for the British economy.

Businesses face concerns over a hung parliament

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- Paddy Earnshaw is customer director at Travelex business payments. The opinions expressed are his own.-

The fears of many British businesses were confirmed today after the first hung parliament in three decades was declared on Friday.

Weak UK recovery argues for consensus on cuts

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– Ian campbellCampbell is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

A first estimate of UK first-quarter growth is a chilly 0.2 percent.  Failure of government policy, the opposition will say. Shows the folly of proposed Conservative spending cuts and tax increases, Gordon Brown, the prime minister, will claim. But a colder financial look will see that enormous stimulus has so far produced the weakest of recoveries. Whatever the election outcome, the UK’s leaders are going to have to be grown-ups. In this emergency, cooperation – or coalition – is required.

from UK News:

Will a hung parliament create a serious hangover for British business?

parliamentElection day is fast approaching and with the poll gap narrowing between the Conservatives and Labour, there is a very real probability that the UK will end up with a hung parliament. For the first time since 1974, the UK may be left without clear political leadership.

- What will this really mean for British business?
- How will the markets and sterling react?
- Will a hung parliament scare off international investors?
- Could the economy survive a second general election within a year?

Leaders’ debate could play out in favour of Libdems

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MarkHillary- Mark Kobayashi-Hillary is the author of several books, including ‘Who Moved my Job?’ and ‘Global Services: Moving to a Level Playing Field’. He is participating in the Reuters Election 2010 politics live blog during the leaders’ debates and on election night. The opinions expressed are his own. -

It’s time for the second leaders’ debate on Thursday evening. This one will focus on international affairs, so it’s likely Prime Minister Gordon Brown will be on the defensive when talking about Afghanistan, Iraq, and the continued need for cold-war era nuclear weapons, such as Trident.

Tight UK election is bad news for bankers

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– Peter Thal Larsen is aBRITAIN/ Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Britain’s bankers were already braced for an uncomfortable election. But the U.S. fraud allegations against Goldman Sachs, combined with the rise of the Liberal Democrats, have given bank-bashing renewed impetus. The popularity of the attacks means they could resonate well beyond the current campaign.

Fears of UK hung parliament may be overstated

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– The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Fears of a huhugodixon-150x150ng parliament following the UK’s general election may be overstated. With Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, Britain’s third largest party, performing well in the first prime ministerial debate, sterling has received a mild knock. Investors do not like the uncertainty that goes with a hung parliament. While many European countries are used to coalition government, the UK is traditionally a two-party system – with government swinging between Labour and the Conservatives.

from UK News:

Will a Hung Parliament create a serious hangover for British business?

ParliamentElection day is fast approaching and with the poll gap narrowing between the Conservatives and Labour, there is a very real probability that the UK will end up with a hung parliament. For the first time since 1974, the UK may be left without clear political leadership.

- What will this really mean for British business?
- How will the markets and sterling react?
- Will a hung parliament scare off international investors?
- Could the economy survive a second general election within a year?

from MacroScope:

Britain heading for rude awakening?

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There is a divisive election ahead for Britain, the threat of a ratings downgrade on its sovereign debt and a deficit that has ballooned into the largest by percentage of any major economy.  UK stocks, bonds and sterling, however, are trundling along as if all were well. What gives?

For a fuller discussion on the issue click here, but the gist is that all three asset classes  are being support by factors that may be masking the danger of a broad reversal. UK equities have been driven higher by the improving global economy, bonds held up by the Bank of England's huge buying programme and sterling by valuation and the distress of others.

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