Election results 2019: The economic questions

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A solid working majority for the Conservatives at Westminster, and a solid confirmation of the SNP's dominance in Scotland: what does it mean for money? Here are some answers, as the dawn breaks on a new political era.

How are markets reacting?

They like the result, more because it reduces uncertainty than because they like Boris Johnson. The pound has been rising against other currencies since hitting lows in August and September. With a no-deal crash averted in October, and the growing likelihood of an election result favouring the Tories, sterling has strengthened.

It put on another 2% against the US dollar as the exit poll was announced. So since that low in late summer, the pound has risen from below $1.20 to $1.34, and the euro is up from 1.07 to 1.20.

That means the pound goes further for British tourists overseas, inflation should be edged downwards, while British exports will become more expensive. But the pound is still weaker than it was before the Brexit referendum vote in 2016.

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Other markets have been positive, where they have reflected prospects for the UK economy. The FTSE 100 index is not up much, but that is because the firms in it make a lot of their money overseas - typically mining and oil companies - and when that is exchanged for strengthened pounds, it makes less in profits.

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Tories need to mind the manifesto gap

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The words "Get Brexit Done" don't play much of a role in the Scottish Conservative manifesto.

Jackson Carlaw and his team identified the need to run a different campaign north of the border.

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General election 2019: Who’s listening to the Liberals?

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Image caption The TV debate format has put Jo Swinson on the defensive

Liberal Democrats have produced a meaty set of policy proposals in their manifesto. The question for them in this election campaign remains: Is anyone listening?

The dynamics of the campaign have given Jo Swinson less opportunity to match the two lead contenders for occupancy of 10 Downing Street.

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General Election 2019: Big changes ahead for UK railways

  • 3 December 2019
  • From the section Scotland
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It's a brave politician who rips up rail fares 10 days out from a general election. If there's one thing we've learned from a quarter century of franchising and private provision, nothing about running British trains is simple.

But with the Labour Party now pledging a third off rail fares in England, a giveaway is something simple that voters can understand and might like. It comes at a high cost, of course, and the formula for funding Holyrood would mean a dollop of additional moola in the block grant for MSPs to use as they choose.

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General Election 2019: Do firms have purpose beyond profit?

  • 30 November 2019
  • From the section Scotland
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The election campaign has brought back a big debate about the reach of the state into the economy and ownership of companies.

Labour wants to nationalise rail, mail, energy supply, English water companies and broadband. It wants the state to become a manufacturer of medicines.

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Ballot Briefing: the SNP looks over the horizon

  • 27 November 2019
  • From the section Scotland
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These elections used to be awkward for the SNP. Westminster wasn't its home turf. It wasn't seen to be a player.

It could hope to return a handful of MPs, while Labour won a landslide and steam-rollered its Scottish rivals across the central belt.

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General election 2019: How Labour plans would affect Scotland

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Labour's election manifesto is titled "Real Change". It's a description on which everyone can agree.

This is not the only set of options at this election to undermine the cynical non-voters' assertion that "they're all the same". If it were to implement its manifesto, a majority Labour government would make Britain look and feel very different.

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Labour's £100bn pledge for Scotland

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In a crowded field for big spending promises, a Corbyn-led Labour was always going to want to be the one that had the biggest bazooka.

So, while the Lib Dems talk of a £50bn dividend from not leaving the EU, Labour has gone for clear red water between its offer and that of its rivals.

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Business can't vote, but it's got a voice

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Image caption PM Johnson was one of the leaders speaking to CBI members

With election manifesto proofs now at the printers, it's a bit late to be trying to influence their contents. But that doesn't stop lobbyists from lobbying, and business is to the front of the queue for that.

For business lobby operations, elections offer an opportunity to get politicians' attention. But having got it, there's that awkward reminder that businesses don't vote - people do.

Read full article Business can't vote, but it's got a voice

What is Scotland's attitude to immigration?

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Immigration has dropped down the list of voter priorities. They may think as they did about it, but not as strongly. It's not the same priority.

That may be because immigration numbers have dropped since the Brexit referendum. It may be because voters expect Brexit to ensure an end to the free movement of EU citizens in and out of the UK.

Read full article What is Scotland's attitude to immigration?