98% of brokers surprised by Theresa May’s snap election

According to United Trust Bank’s most recent broker sentiment poll, the vast majority of intermediaries operating in the fields of property and asset finance did not expect Theresa May’s announcement of a snap mid-term general election.

The survey, carried out by UTB at the start of April 2017, asked brokers to indicate what they thought might happen in the few weeks immediately following the triggering of Article 50 on March 29th. Just 2% of the brokers who took part in the poll expected the Prime Minister to call a snap general election.

23% of brokers correctly predicted that the value of Sterling would rise, however the sharpest increase followed Mrs May’s election announcement on the 18th of April.

21% of brokers indicated that they expected Jeremy Corbyn to face another Labour Party leadership challenge, but this now looks unlikely until Labour’s performance at the ballot box has been appraised.

In a previous UTB poll, carried out in January 2017, 48% of brokers indicated that they had confidence in Theresa May and her cabinet, compared to 40% who were nervous. Just 4% of brokers in the recent poll expected a cabinet reshuffle so quickly, however this now looks a certainty once Theresa May knows which of her current cabinet members will keep their seats in Parliament.

The majority of brokers were also in support of getting on with the business of leaving the EU with 71% agreeing that it was time for the process to officially start. Just 27% suggested it needed more time to be properly thought through.

United Trust Bank Group Managing Director, Harley Kagan, commented:

“Although a snap general election will put the brakes on any further Brexit negotiations for another 6 to 7 weeks, entering separation talks with a clear election mandate and longer term of government could strengthen Mrs May’s hand and help the Prime Minister to achieve the Brexit outcome she desires.

“Although a general election might normally add yet more uncertainty, a firm majority for Theresa May and the Conservative Party could bring more certainty for the UK sooner than expected. That’s something which would be welcomed by many businesses and individuals who still have no firm idea of what life outside of the EU is going to look like.

“At UTB we’ll continue to work closely with brokers to ensure that whatever happens on June 8th we’ll support the aspirations of developers, SMEs and individuals and enable them to seize the opportunities that change often brings.”