It wasn't supposed to be like this. Six weeks ago, when Theresa May stood at the door of 10 Downing Street and declared a snap general election (despite promising seven times that she wouldn't), the commentariat were convinced a heady victory was round the corner for the Prime Minister.
But on the morning of the 9th June 2017, it would seem that the electorate have rejected May and have once again, astounded the pollsters, journalists and the established political class. Is it a retaliation to a 'Hard Brexit'? A refusal to accept the u-turns of the incumbent government? Or has the young vote finally mobilised itself in its support of the much maligned Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn?
As always, the picture isn't very clear. What we do know is that businesses, institutions and talking heads are commenting, asking questions and in some cases, delivering answers on how this result will affect the climate in Britain. We have compiled some of the reaction here, and will continue to update throughout the day.
Carolyn Fairbank, CBI director-general
Peter Cheese, CEO, CIPD
“This election was called to provide the next government with a strong mandate to take us through Brexit but this morning we face yet more uncertainty. In order for the economy to remain resilient it’s vital that we have a working government that brings the UK the stability it needs at this crucial time.
“Brexit negotiations are high on the agenda and how these now move forwards will be a critical area of discussion. However, there is of course a much wider agenda that we need the new government to deliver on as was clear through the public debates. A key focus must be on addressing workplace issues through a much more human lens. By focusing on improving transparency in business, protecting and raising awareness of rights for workers and boosting investment in skills, we can hope to ensure that work can be a force for good, regardless of how, when and where people work. We look forward to working with the new government once it has been officially formed, to address these issues and ensure the UK is in a strong position to be a high-skills, high-value economy.”
Stephen Martin, director general of the Institute of Directors
Alain de Botton, philosopher and author
Alan Price, Employment Law and HR Director of Peninsula
The election was called by Theresa May to provide her with a greater Conservative majority to ensure her mandate for negotiating Brexit was robust. The democratic voters, however, appear to have rallied against this and the election will result in a hung Parliament where the Conservatives are the biggest party with no overall majority. Peninsula has received hundreds of calls this morning from worried business owners asking what does this mean for their business in regards to their employees.
One of the most concerning aspects of the election for employers is likely to be what this means for the UK leaving the EU. Some experts are saying that it is now likely a “softer” Brexit will be carried out as the Conservatives campaigned on the basis of a “hard Brexit” and the public did not provide them with the support to carry this out. With some key Conservatives against leaving the single market, and the EU ready to negotiate, there are suggestions that Brexit will be delayed or postponed.