Follow UBS

At Follow UBS, our experts and senior executives share their views on the most pressing issues across a number of areas, including macroeconomics and financial services. Follow our spokespeople, publications, and media appearances to ensure you stay up to date on the latest trends.

The UK General Election, commentary from UBS

The UK General Election on 7 May 2015 is fast approaching, UBS will be following it closely to survey the key election battlegrounds, and particularly the impact the election could have on the economy and markets. We do not presume to predict the outcome, nor do we prefer any specific outcome. Find all the latest commentary from UBS here, updated regularly as we move closer to the election.

Latest election updates

  • Current polling in the UK gives markets few clues as to the outcome of the general election.
  • Declining support for the two major parties and the rising popularity of new alternatives (SNP, UKIP, Greens) significantly reduce the chances of a single-party victory.
  • Markets do not like the uncertainty, and polls are pointing to more of it as the election approaches. Expect risk premiums for UK assets to rise.
  • The outcome of the May 7th UK General Election is unusually uncertain.
  • Current polls would suggest a clear majority for either of the two main parties is unlikely.
  • The result of the election could have an important bearing on the UK's relationship with the EU, as well as the pace and size of fiscal consolidation.
  • The uncertain result could also potentially weigh on economic outcomes this year.

The Bulldog: The May 7th General Election – A Very British Crisis? – David Tinsley

  • The outcome of the May 7th UK General Election is unusually uncertain.
  • Current polls would suggest a clear majority for either of the two main parties is unlikely.
  • The result of the election could have an important bearing on the UK's relationship with the EU, as well as the pace and size of fiscal consolidation.
  • The uncertain result could also potentially weigh on economic outcomes this year.

The Bulldog: The May 7th General Election – A Very British Crisis? – David Tinsley

  • The outcome of the May 7th UK General Election is unusually uncertain.
  • Current polls would suggest a clear majority for either of the two main parties is unlikely.
  • The result of the election could have an important bearing on the UK's relationship with the EU, as well as the pace and size of fiscal consolidation.
  • The uncertain result could also potentially weigh on economic outcomes this year.
  • While a Labour government would hurt areas such as housing, utilities, banks and tobacco, a Conservative victory would bring more broad-based uncertainty via an EU Referendum.
  • If an unstable political outcome looks likely, the currency market would likely be the one most affected. The aggregate impact on the FTSE 100, which historically has performed better around the time of general elections than the FTSE 250, would likely be limited.
  • We have a neutral weight on UK equities due to their weaker earnings dynamics. While commodities may still pose downside risks to earnings, the headwind that the strong pound constituted last year should now become a tailwind.

To request election reports contact:

UBS’s Davos World Economic Forum white paper on The New Global Context

UBS has produced a white paper on the New Global Context, the theme of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015 in Davos, Switzerland, on January 21-24. The white paper examines four key pillars of global development - US energy independence, technological innovation, the exit from loose monetary policy, and the environmental credit crunch. It also recommends solutions to related challenges for the global economy, including geopolitical tensions, financial vulnerabilities, and poverty.

Executive summary

The world is undergoing major transformations. To take just two examples: technological development is changing our everyday personal and business lives, and the emergence of the US as a major energy provider is changing the global calculus, shifting the balance of power away from oil suppliers and toward consumers. Both should be seen as positives. But without better global integration and cooperation they could each prove to be a force for ill, rather than good.

UBS's white paper for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015 looks in more detail at these potential threats, and at the measures policymakers will need to implement in the years ahead. Urgent action is required, particularly with respect to addressing local and global inequalities, and building a strong policy framework for global security that encompasses the geopolitical, financial, physical, and digital spheres. In each of these domains, a greater level of inter- and intra-governmental cooperation will be required than has been in evidence in recent years.