General election could boost economy says Bristol commercial property expert

Tim Davies, head of the Bristol office of Colliers International

The decision to call a snap General Election could provide a long-term boost to the economy, according to a Bristol-based commercial property expert.

Tim Davies, head of the Bristol office of commercial property specialists Colliers International, added any initial market concerns resulting from the surprise announcement by Prime Minister Theresa May would be minimal in light of the strength of the South West economy. Indeed reactions from the financial markets suggest the news has received very positively.

“The announcement of a General Election in June caught many by surprise, but Theresa May saw the opportunity to drive home the strong position that she and the Tories hold and if the outcome is the ‘bluewash’ that is being predicted goes then it will facilitate Brexit negotiations and will give a shot in the arm to the economy,” he said

“Initially, continued uncertainty might slow things down but the market is so buoyant in the South West that this might be a one week blip.

“It was certainly our experience in Bristol after the Brexit vote that deals that were already going through went ahead regardless of the wider political picture.

“In advance of the General Election, we will have the West of England Combined Authority election on May 4 that will bring devolved powers to the region. It will be interesting to see if the forthcoming General Election has an impact upon the ‘Metro Mayor’ vote.”

Mr Davies’ views on the beneficial long-term economic effects of a General Election are also held by the director of research and forecasting Colliers International, Walter Boettcher.

He said: “With the calling of a snap general election, a new date has been entered into the European calendar of uncertainty.  However, the long-term benefits of a clear governmental mandate to investors and occupiers will far outweigh the short-term hiatus in decision making that is likely to follow this announcement.  Solid deals, already in progress, are likely to progress. New deals may slow between now and the election.

“Will the government receive the mandate that it plans?  Given recent events, all bets are off.”