Should business bet on the Election date?

Blank calendar for full year 2024 with month of October circled in green.

New Writing: Timing when to call a General Election is always a tactic, often a gamble. So, writing for The Hub, the award-winning content platform curated by Mitsubishi Electric, Jim McClelland asks: What is the best bet for business?

If you like a flutter, then gambling on the date of the UK General Election is one way to go. Political punters have been placing their bets all year, anywhere from May to November.

Technically the latest the UK could go to the polls is January 2025, but that would require Parliament to be dissolved after midnight on 17 December — as that marks the date exactly five years on from the inaugural meeting following the last election, in 2019.

The January scenario is therefore highly unlikely, not least because Rishi Sunak himself is already on record stating that the election will take place in 2024, for sure.

So, when might it actually happen?

No May madness — odds on Q4

A May election is effectively off the table. The first two weeks of June have previously proved popular (in 1983, 1987, 2001 and 2017), but with the Conservatives currently trailing in the polls, such a snap call would be a surprise tactic and a huge wager.

The summer months of July and August (plus, maybe even September, too) are always less favourable, due to the holiday season and the Commons itself being in recess. Therefore, the smart money has to be on a date in the final quarter of the year.

Year of elections worldwide — India to US

From an economic markets point of view, it is worth remembering that the UK election is by no means the only one of significance on the world calendar for 2024.

Happening much sooner, the General Election in India will be the largest ever seen, with almost one billion people eligible to vote. Then, of course, we have the US Presidential elections towards the end of the year.

The timetable in the US is important, as it is widely assumed that the UK Prime Minister would be keen to avoid a clash with the Presidential race. Therefore, if that programme pretty much rules out November, plus December might be cutting it fine for the dissolution of Parliament.

So, that leaves October as perhaps the most likely month for the UK.

Impact on business — is delay good or bad?

Is delaying the date good or bad (and for whom)?

For an assessment of the impacts of an October Election on business, both positive and negative, plus an ‘unsexy’ but sustainable suggestion for a smart management strategy — you can read the article in full here:

Is the election date worth a gamble?

To view a back-catalogue of articles authored by Jim McClelland for ‘The Hub’, please see archive here.

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