Market Insights

Letters

If, by the time you read this, 48 letters expressing No Confidence in Theresa May as Conservative Party leader have been received by Graham Brady, then:

  1. The vote should take place within 24 hours
  2. If TM gains votes from 158 of her MPs (half the parliamentary party) then she stays as leader and cannot be challenged again for 12 months
  3. Expectations are already being trailed that a loss of over 100 would be enough to make her go.
    – We would disagree. Any woman witnessing Thatcher’s enforced departure would not leave the top job unless the numbers make it so.
  4. Even the most extreme Brexiteers and Remainers fear they don’t have enough momentum to carry half of the party with them. That’s why they couldn’t move until TM was knocked out onto the canvas. They had to be certain she was gone.
  5. But even now, Conservative MPs face a dilemma. 
    – Once TM goes, one of the final candidates won’t be Brexity enough for Brexiteers or Remainy enough for Remainers. That means both factions have a 50% chance of losing out.
  6. The odds however favour the Brexiteers. The final decision on leader comes down to the Conservative Party membership, and they’re certainly on the harder Brexit side of things.
  7. In trying to move the odds in their favour, it’s no surprise that neither Brexiteer nor Remainer can yet agree on who their own candidate should be.
    – Leading ERG member Steve Baker has told Brexiteers who quit the Cabinet to “work out between them which one of them is going to be our candidate to unite the country” – i.e. Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Esther McVey and David Davis

So the calculation runs thus:

  • Are you confident that if TM goes, you’ll get someone you prefer in her place?
  • For Brexiteers, the answer is probably Yes. For Remainers, it’s less clear cut.
  • Or are you just so sick of the shambles, you just want to gamble

So how many Tory MPs are Remainers?

Here’s our MP by MP analysis which shows the shape of the Conservative Party on our scale of -15 for most Remain MP to +15 to most Leave MP:

One third of the Party ranks at a zero or below. This is the Remainer rump.

And where can Theresa May find her magical 158 MPs? Everyone ranking at +2 or below would get her there.

Is there a compromise candidate who could tempt some of those away from her?  Well here’s a map of Cabinet MPs from just before Raab resigned:

Can Javid, at +5, become a kind of compromise candidate? Likes Leave enough to please the membership but Remain enough to calm his Remainer colleagues?

He won’t get the chance if 158 MPs decide they prefer the devil they know. So this contest will only be called when it has the momentum the Prime Minister’s detractors desire. It might be tomorrow. If it’s not, it is still coming. The end game of power, and the chance to shape the Brexit of your dreams, are within your grasp. It’s just a question of timing.

And while it lurks, the Labour Party can continue to hold fire on their own No Confidence vote, despite Vince Cable and Nicola Sturgeon publicly lambasting Jeremy Corbyn for not doing so already. Why pull the trigger if the Conservative Party can set off some friendly fire shots that weaken their already divided party?

Even if TM wins, she won’t be out of the woods. The pressure cooker will still be steaming. Every attempt to try to preserve the status quo is tinder for the fire for those who desire a very different Brexit outcome.

The upshot for financial markets is that we are entering a much more significant crisis period. The chances of either No Deal or No Brexit are rising. All these months of inaction were not a reason to be calm about the future. They were merely time for some shadow boxing and weapons stockpiling before the bombs start to go off. We continue to expect a sharp dislocation in GBP assets in the next couple of weeks as this becomes apparent.

Which Labour MPs will vote Conservative?

Attention has moved from the 40-80 Conservative MPs that Steve Baker claims can kill the government, to the 30-40 Labour MPs that Downing Street hope can let its deal survive. The Times and the FT both run stories today on these so-called Labour rebels.

The headline is misleading. The quotes from Labour MPs show just how uncertain they are over how they will vote. They fear deselection. They hope Corbyn will change. They will vote down the government only to vote with them later. Listen below for our 3 minute wrap with more details:

 

To determine how Labour MPs will shake down, we refer you back to our Labour MP breakdown:

And our table of support for each Brexit outcome:

If you would like more detail on how we calculated these figures, or to run other configurations, please let us know.

The Iron May-dy

That was intense!

In case you missed it, Theresa May just spoke on how she believed Brexit negotiations went with the EU 27…

(If looks could kill…)

What does it mean? What can we expect? Does anything change?

We know it is Friday so do not expect you to read anything now, so BlondeMoney has put together a quick podcast discussion between the team. It is under 5 minutes so you can even drink a glass of red while you listen!

 

As a weekend treat, here is EU’s Donald Tusk enjoying the EU summit…

Why There Will Be ‘No Deal’ – In One Chart!

The BlondeMoney team has spent the summer going through all 650 MPs in the UK Parliament to determine their personal view on Brexit. We ranked them on a scale of -15 for the most “Remain” to +15 for the most “Leave”. We used 24 criteria, including:

  • their personal declared vote;
  • their position in any Brexit campaigning organisation;
  • their votes against their party;
  • and their declared views on Brexit.
  • We scoured the official Parliamentary records on Hansard along with their websites, articles and constituency briefings.

The results show:

  1. even a skilled leader with strong party discipline would have to reach across the divide for the votes required to pass a Deal through Parliament;
  2. the extremes at both ends of the distribution can form a strong enough minority to wreck a final Deal unless it moves in their direction;
  3. the centre of the distribution is still split by both ideology and Party

This is why we believe Parliament will be unable to agree on a Deal, which will ultimately lead to a change of Prime Minister and an inevitable crisis to flush out the necessary pressure to get a deal done.

With our database we can:

  • identify which MP sits where;
  • identify which MPs are most likely to shift position through a comparison with their constituency vote and their majority;
  • model how an MP might vote when it comes to the crunch;
  • model how different factions can block legislation or force amendments;
  • analyse how new leaders of any party might gain a power base.

If any of this would be useful for you or your colleagues, please let us know.

Like it or loathe it, we are about to enter the key period for Brexit risks. There are only 13 days of Parliament sitting until the October EU Summit. Before that, we have the key Party Conference season to get through, which will only serve to heighten these divisions. Business can no longer pretend it is ready for No Deal: contingency plans will be activated.

BlondeMoney is ready to be your Brexit guide. Let us know how we can help.