Jeremy Corbyn Provides the Best Chance of Retrieving Margaret Thatcher’s Property-Owning Democracy – The Property Chronicle
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Jeremy Corbyn Provides the Best Chance of Retrieving Margaret Thatcher’s Property-Owning Democracy

The Fund Manager

When considering the investment risks that would arise from the implementation of an anti-capitalist labour manifesto, we should start by considering both the likelihood of this outcome and the form of Brexit that will provide the economic and investment conditions. 

Despite the way in which the Brexit negotiations have been conducted to date and the public fissures within the Conservative Party, it seems remarkable that Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition is not a considerable distance ahead in the opinion polls. Perhaps this is due both to the lack of clarity and candour relating to the Opposition’s own position, and the limited enthusiasm within the PLP for a leader foisted on the party by their membership. We cannot be certain that either leader will remain in situ until the next election, but Mr Corbyn seems much the more likely of the two to last the course. Given his outperformance versus low expectations in 2017, particularly with younger voters, one cannot have any confidence that current stated voting intentions will be sustained. The Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee also points out that many Tory voters will have expired before the next election while children aged twelve in 2016 will be able to vote in 2022. 

Now let us return briefly to Brexit, and we must first rule out the least likely outcomes. Despite the current strategy of brinkmanship on both sides of the negotiation, Brexit now seems increasingly unlikely. By ‘Brexit’ I mean the Brexit that David Cameron told Leave voters that they would be choosing on the 23rd June 2016. This is what is now referred to as a ‘hard Brexit’, ‘cliff edge’ or ‘crash out’ Brexit. I would not take issue with the final two descriptions given that the departure from the Single Market and Customs Union would have required preparation of at least the two years following the triggering of Article 50, not the 46 days remaining until the 29th March deadline. However, the chances of a second referendum leading to no Brexit also appear to be receding. Neither of the main party leaders appears to favour this outcome and dare not either offend their Brexit voting colleagues and constituents, or risk further damaging delay and uncertainty that has already caused the economy to stall. So, a ‘soft’ Brexit it is – either a close relative of Mrs May’s deal or some form of customs union. We can therefore rule out both the Bank of England’s worst short term economic predictions and the levels of anarchy in the House that would lead to an election before the Conservative’s fixed term expires in 2022. Again, perhaps brave assumptions, but ones with which I’m becoming increasingly comfortable. 

The Fund Manager

About Jo Welman

Jo Welman

Jo Welman is an adviser to Epic Private Equity and the Non-Executive Director for ARK Syndicate Management Ltd, as well as advising several small companies and individuals on the structure and allocation of their investments. His previous roles have included managing balanced portfolios at Barings, Managing Director at Rea Brothers (Investment Management) Ltd, and Executive Chairman at Brit Insurance Holdings Plc.

Articles by Jo Welman

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