What Will Happen in 2024?
A summary of my latest presentation to investors
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I’ve just given a talk to a financial conference in London on the key trends to watch ahead of Britain’s rapidly approaching 2024 general election.
I don’t know about you but I’m excited about next year.
With major elections in both the UK and the US, it’s going to be another vintage year for political nerds —and one that might deliver a few more shocks.
Here’s what I told the conference.
If you look at the latest polls in Britain right now, albeit while taking them with a pinch of salt, then you’d conclude we’re heading for a Labour government.
Sir Keir Starmer and the Labour Party are currently averaging a 14-15 point lead —more than the 12.5-point lead they need to win a majority.
While the results of the recent local elections suggest Labour is underperforming the national polls, they too suggest the party’s still on course for a return to power.
And remember to keep two key points in mind here.
The first is that for Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives it’s ‘majority or bust’—nobody will work with the Tories if we end up in a hung parliament.
So, Sunak and his party need to be at least 3.5 points ahead in the polls if they’re going to accomplish what no incumbent party has ever accomplished before in British history —winning five elections in a row.
That currently looks extremely difficult. Not impossible. But very difficult.
The second thing to keep in mind is the politics of inflation —the global winds that are reshaping politics not only here in Britain but across the world.
One of the things I find annoying about the debate in Britain is that it’s very insular and assumes politics is only shaped by what happens here.
The next election —we’re routinely told— will ultimately be decided by what voters think about Rishi Sunak, Keir Starmer, the two big parties, the small boats, the National Health Service, the legacy of Partygate, Boris, Liz Truss, and so on.
There’s certainly a lot of truth to that but this ignores something else, something much bigger —the global impact of inflation on politics and elections.
Here’s the key point.
If you look at the global story that’s been unfolding amid inflation then incumbent leaders and their governments —no matter what they say, no matter what they do— have been getting smashed at the ballot box, losing power or being weakened.
We’ve seen it in America, in France, in Italy, in Sweden, in Sri Lanka, in Columbia, at the recent elections in Spain, and in many other countries.
The politics of inflation and the intensifying cost-of-living crisis have simply been utterly brutal for pretty much every incumbent around the world.
And this is entirely consistent with what research tells us to expect.
When elections are held within a couple of years of inflation peaking —as they will be in 2024— then incumbent parties lose those elections three-quarters of the time.
So, keep those two big points in mind during the rest of my talk.
Let’s now look at the key trends that are unfolding with the help of a few charts and I’ll you what I think we’re going to see next year …
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