Following Theresa May’s surprise statement on 18 April announcing the upcoming snap general election, the countdown has begun to polling day and campaigns are under way.
There are only two circumstances that allow a snap election to be called: a vote of no confidence in the government, or if MPs vote to bring an election forward by a two-thirds majority. In the vote that led to the snap election being called, MPs voted by 522 to 13 to bring the election forward from its scheduled date in 2020.
For all of the key players, the issue of Brexit is likely to come up during the campaign phase. Read on to find out more about who the key players are and their stance heading into the election.
Theresa May (Conservatives)
Prime Minister Theresa May swept into power following the resignation of David Cameron in the aftermath of the EU referendum. Despite voting against leaving the EU, the PM is focused on seeing Brexit through, as was evidenced by her recent triggering of Article 50. Mrs May will be hoping the snap election will give her a bigger majority in the House of Commons.
Jeremy Corbyn (Labour)
Leader of the opposition and Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn recently put a stop to rumours that Labour might include a promise to hold a second Brexit referendum in its manifesto for June’s general election. The party line is that the results of last year’s referendum must be honoured. The Labour Party, however, calls for workers’ rights and access to benefits of the single market to be upheld.
Tim Farron (Liberal Democrats)
Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has assured the British public that he will put a stop to what his party is viewing as a “disastrous hard Brexit”. The party supports the single market and the free movement of people, and wants a second referendum. As such, Mr Farron and the Lib Dems hope to gather voters in pro-remain areas, while estimates show that two of their sitting MPs represent areas that backed the leave campaign last year.
Nicola Sturgeon (SNP)
Following Scotland’s vote to remain in the EU last year, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has called for a second Scottish independence referendum and is pushing for Scotland to remain in the single market after Brexit.
Paul Nuttall (UKIP)
Paul Nuttall was elected leader of the UK Independent Party in 2016. This prominent Eurosceptic has shown support for banning burqas in public spaces and reintroducing the death penalty. He’s vowed to “hold the government’s feet to the fire” on Brexit, but with Article 50 triggered and formal proceedings under way, UKIP’s anti-EU message may have lost its clout.
Heightened market volatility is likely over the election period, this could result in widened spreads. We recommend that you monitor positions carefully, consider the use of appropriate risk management tools and maintain a sufficient account surplus throughout this period.