Theresa May (or Tresemmé as I have heard her called in certain quarters) surprised us all in April by calling a snap election. While the cynics have suggested it has been done to avoid a tranche of Tory MPs being prosecuted for yet another expenses scandal regarding the use of a Battle Bus, the official reason is to give the government greater credibility and legitimacy in negotiating our exit from the European Union.
Certainly there is some logic to that. If I were Guy Verhofstad, the European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator, I’d be concerned about trying to strike a deal with a prime minister and a government whose position could so easily be undermined by her own side, let alone an opposition wishing to score political points. He may well have recently said that her rationale for the election – to strengthen her negotiating position – is ‘nonsense’, but I imagine his opinion when the cameras are not rolling is somewhat different.
Whether you think the prime minister is a political opportunist, or whether she is being slightly more honest in wanting a stronger conservative majority, I think it is a good move. Although an election is a temporary distraction, it will soon be over and we can all get back to the day job. (At least after the bank holiday.)
The greatest danger to our industry at the moment is uncertainty, and this will remove one of those uncertainties. Any government with a five-year term has to be good news. It will put an end to the current hiatus.
Put another way, stability in the longer term will give developers greater confidence to invest in new schemes, and further reinvigorate the property sector. This will in turn re-invigorate the lenders, and the services that support the way schemes are funded.
I see the election as a good thing, though it does rather depend on one party winning an outright majority. Anything in-between might only add to the uncertainty, in which case we will have expended a great deal of energy to have ended up back to where we started.