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Election Report Week 1


The first week of campaigning is almost over and I have already tried to ban myself from shouting at the TV! The issue with our politics today and a reason why many are switching off is that whatever idea, good or bad a party has, the opposition automatically criticises and opposes it. Idealism and political passions have given way to a brand of PR Playground Politics.

In the Property and Mortgage Industries there has already been some wild debate around what effect, if any, a brand new Government would have. It is becoming apparent that there are only two realistic outcomes, a slight majority either way or a Hung Parliament, neither of which will really give anyone a decisive mandate to actually govern, so uncertainty could unfortunately be around for a while yet.

Actually, perhaps the best option is a Hung Parliament. I may be a dreamer, but the prospect of the “best” (and I use that term with artistic licence), members of two or more parties working together to actually solve some issues sounds idyllic. Rather this than a small majority on one side having everything it tries to do blocked by the stubbornness of the opposition.

What the property-obsessed British do want to know, is will there be any difference in the banks attitude to lending mortgages under a new regime, headed by Mr Cameron for example, and will they be able to breathe new life into the property market?

Perhaps this is best answered by leaving politics aside for a minute. As a nation we are on the cusp of a recovery, however we are currently balancing on capricious ground and one slip could still send us in the wrong direction.

Ceteris Paribus, (all other things remaining equal), I believe the markets will slowly recover, people will become more confident, house prices will plod along and rise slightly and lenders will remember that they do actually have to lend.

So, bringing in the politics much depends on the severity of the next budget.

What has confused many people is that we all thought this election would be all about who had the guts to stand up and say we need to make hard decisions now for our future well-being. Instead we have an argument over whether to raise one small particular tax or not! Hold on, I thought there was no question that we needed to raise taxes and make cuts, it’s the one thing we all agreed on to get us out of this mess?

Of course business leaders are not going to want this tax, why would anyone choose to? So whilst they are all fine upstanding people it is a bit like asking Turkeys to vote against Christmas!

The main question is will not acting cost more? Suddenly the waste saving labelled ludicrous by the Tories just a few weeks ago are being used as the cornerstone of their election policy. As Simon Schama said on Question Time this week, it seems that the Tories have now become the Keynesians!

Also, as Vince Cable rightly said, there is a moral obligation to say where the money is coming from, I mean, how do you save or spend £6 billion that does not really exist?

Meanwhile, the Governments illogical and poorly communicated rebuttal, stating that Business Leaders have been “deceived” is simply ignorant at best.

The election campaign has already lost the plot and it all leads me to the following conclusion, “a plague on both your houses”.

But I digress. It is interesting to note that in previous elections house prices have dropped just before and risen sharply after a decisive victory during an initial honeymoon period.

However, if Mr Cameron does win power with any sort of working majority and little boy George, ( a frightening thought for Chancellor), delivers a humdinger of a budget, you can actually expect the housing market to drop back again slightly after the initial honeymoon period. What is interesting, and this is a serious point, is that this honeymoon period will be prolonged if England have a successful World Cup.

Sentiment is everything at the moment and a feel-good factor, whatever the reason for it, is contagious.

Then we have the actual policies. Will the Tories actually change stamp duty as they have said for a while, for example?

And can they actually force the banks to lend more? For me, again the answer to this one is no. They have been highly critical of the banks in an attempt to follow the popular view and win votes. We have also seen how hard it is to make banks lend more, even when we own a substantial part of them. It is not as simple as that, especially when what is actually more important to us is that banks repair their balance sheets and get back to full health as quickly as possible.

In reality, the Tories should have walked this election, but they have shown themselves to be a party without any real substance and people are unconvinced by the PR preening of Cameron and the lightweight Osborne. This is the only reason why the dull and over-sensitive Brown has any chance of clinging to power. Forget the uncomfortable idea of Osbourne as chancellor, but the prospect of someone like Chris Grayling anywhere near government is even more scary!

But 4 more years of Brown?

Listening to the phone in shows and talking to people does make me worry about the future of politics. The amount of disillusion and anger over both parties, their general lack of integrity and trust leading to many spoilt ballot papers is a shame. To have either one of them in power does not fill me with glee.

Actually, instead of spoiling a ballot paper why not give the real underdogs a chance? At least the Liberals are being honest and have a clean slate. So, do not think voting for them is a wasted vote, do not vote for the main parties just because you hate the opposition, do not spoil the ballet paper.

If all those people instead vote for someone different, the biggest change in UK politics for many a year could really become true and wake up the major parties to the fact that the British Public have had enough of the Punch and Judy Politics that have taken over our fine democratic system.

Vince Cable as Chancellor? Fantastic. Nick Clegg as PM? Why the hell not? He is more entertaining than Brown and less sickly than Cameron. If he can’t hack it Vince will be in the job before long, but to be honest, often in life the most unexpected candidate suddenly becomes the best when really challenged.

Research from many different panel interviews show the Lib Dems get the most agreement, yet few actually vote for them. Not anymore. I have nailed by colours to the mast in exasperation.

For me, change is orangey-yellow.

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Andrew Montlake

Written by Andrew Montlake

Andrew Montlake, better known as Monty, began his journey with an Hons degree in Economics & Politics before starting in the mortgage industry in February 1994. As a main founder of Coreco in 2009, he successfully grew the brand, marketing, and communications, and was made MD in 2019 focussing on the overall vision, strategy, and culture of the company. As Coreco’s media spokesperson, Andrew can often be seen or heard on TV and radio as well as regularly commenting in the national, local, and trade press. He is the author of this acclaimed Mortgage Blog and is well-known for his social media, podcasts, and public speaking. Andrew is now proud to serve as Chairman of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, (AMI) as a cheerleader for the Mortgage Industry as a whole and continues to work at the coal face, writing mortgage business and advising clients.

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