It is over 40 years since the outcome of a General Election has been so uncertain this close to polling day. Long-held electoral assumptions about the three main political parties no longer hold.
Labour and the Conservatives, combined, may receive a little over 60% of the vote, compared to the 75% they enjoyed in both 1974 Elections; the Liberal Democrats, on the other hand, stand to lose at least half their current parliamentary representation and are no longer the principal recipient of protest votes. The SNP could well become the third largest party in Westminster and thereby destroy Labour’s political hegemony in Scotland. Meanwhile, UKIP and the Green Party continue to poll higher than ever before.
This uncertainty makes it difficult for plans to be made and business-critical decisions to be taken with any confidence for the medium and long terms. Therefore it is vital that as the election campaign unfolds and election day draws near, any political risk that has been created is mitigated. This will be achieved through an awareness not only of the events that could influence the electoral outcome but also of the policy, political and constitutional implications of the different scenarios that could emerge in the days and weeks after polling day.
Therefore, throughout the Election campaign, Edelman will provide this crucial knowledge through a variety of means including a regular series of briefings, of which this is the first. These will provide essential information and insights on the party manifestos, the campaign trail and the possible arrangements and deals that may emerge in the coming days and weeks.
To guide you through the key factors shaping this exciting and unpredictable campaign, Edelman has prepared the first in a series of regular briefings providing summaries of the key announcements, stakeholder reaction and analysis, which you can view and download here.