LONDON — Ahead of June’s general election much discussion has
been held on how the vote will impact the UK’s financial markets.
The general consensus is that a bigger Tory majority
— the widely expected outcome — should lead to a softer Brexit
and therefore be a material positive for the markets. Of
course, no one really knows what will happen either in the
election or to the markets afterward.
Regardless, investment firm Fidelity has compiled a handy
chart illustrating the returns on the UK stock market under every
prime minister since 1970. That takes in nine PMs — four from the
Labour Party, and five from the Conservatives.
The chart throws up some interesting findings, including
that Margaret Thatcher was the most market-friendly PM in recent
history, presiding over a period of huge expansion of more than
This market boom was not actually as a direct result of
Thatcher and was instead largely thanks to her premiership
coinciding with a period of global economic expansion tied
closely to mass deregulation seen worldwide.
On the flipside, Gordon Brown is the only premier to see
stocks decline during his tenure. That is down to him taking over
in Number 10 just as
the global financial crisis was starting to crystallise, sending
stocks across the world plummeting.
Here is the chart:
For sure, the chart is an interesting exercise, but
Fidelity warns against taking too many conclusions from the
“While the analysis may seem to support the view that
stocks and shares perform better under a Conservative government,
the reality is that economic and market factors have a far bigger
influence on UK equities than the political party in power,” a
release from the company says.
“While on the face of it the Conservatives appear to have
delivered more impressive stock market returns than Labour in
recent years, the economic and market environment has a far more
important bearing on the performance of the stock market than who
the current occupant of Number 10 is,” Tom Stevenson from