By announcing in mid-April that snap elections would be held on 8th June, UK Prime Minister Theresa May took a gamble that seemed to make sense as difficult Brexit negotiations approached:
In addition to the negotiations over Brexit itself, the future UK government may have to manage an economic deceleration.
In light of recent poll numbers, May's gamble is not yet won.
A significant Conservative win (still the central scenario, although probably not the landslide that was initially expected in April) would be followed by an opening of relatively hard Brexit negotiations as currently projected.
If, on the other hand, May loses her gamble, there are several plausible scenarios, with very different consequences for the Brexit process.
May's gamble is not yet won. While not the central scenario, a setback (complete or relative) for the Conservatives could alter the conditions in which Brexit will unfold. Whatever happens, though (even perhaps in the unlikely scenario of a government not led by the Conservatives), difficult negotiations are to be expected, as are temporary episodes of market stress over the prospect of an exit by the UK without an agreement with the EU. Ultimately, we are keeping the view we have held since the referendum of last 29 June largely unchanged. An agreement will be reached, preserving the bulk of the free exchange of goods and just part of the free exchange of services, probably with a compromise on the other contested issues, such as the free movement of people and the UK's contribution to the European budget.
Current composition of the UK Parliament:
Scottish National Party: 56
Liberal Democrats: 8
Latest poll (%)
Scottish National Party: 5%
Liberal Democrat:s 8%