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Transport Times – Election Analysis

Posted by: on Jun 16, 2017 | No Comments

“The ‘understanding’ between the Conservatives and the DUP may help deliver a government but not one that is likely to be strong, stable or particularly long-lasting.  Aside from the potential implications for the Brexit negotiations, the DUP will try to extract a price from Mrs May for their support.

This is likely to include infrastructure investment which the DUP considers to be ‘crucial for economic competitiveness’ as well as good for local jobs.  They called for a specific NI Infrastructure Fund in their manifesto.

Whilst such policies may have resonance with the Conservative Party, they could prove expensive.  If we still live in an age of austerity then higher investment from NI will need to come from somewhere.

The Conservative strategy of looking to the North of England for extra seats largely did not work.  Those worried about a continued focus on London and the South East (plus now Northern Ireland) are right to do so.  Mrs May need to firm up Conservative support in her heartlands and that could have implications for transport projects, devolution and other initiatives across the country.

But also don’t write off Labour and Jeremy Corbyn quite yet.  Their transport policies, including rail nationalisation, were some of the most popular policies with the public and if the new government arrangements wobbly then Labour will look to seize the moment.

The reappointment of Chris Grayling on the one hand offers the chance of policy continuity but ‎the reality of a minority Government is that everything is up for grabs. Most notably, Grayling will be under serious pressure to solve the ever-ongoing industrial disputes.”

Comments published in Transport Times, June 2017

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