Some interesting thoughts on the "shocking" result from the UK general election from Deutsche's Jim Reid this morning:
Whatever the overall results of this election some of the stats about potential age demographics of the voters is very interesting. Sky did a poll on election day and found amongst 18-34 year olds Labour were on 63% and Conservatives 27%. With 35-54 year olds both were on 43% and over 55 year olds Labour on 23% and Conservatives on 59%. Labour made a huge push for the young who don't normally vote in high numbers and the Conservative Party actually proposed policies that worked against their natural older vote perhaps thinking their early lead in the polls gave them an opportunity to try to balance the books more.
So were the young more motivated than normal and were the elderly less motivated?
It's fascinating as this shows the dilemma a lot of politicians have around the world. We generally have a wealth divide where the older generation (who normally vote) have a high proportion of it relative to the young who are generally in debt and/or in many countries unemployed. It feels this divide is at the higher end of the historical range.
Are the young starting to rebel more and are looking for hope?
Can you politically afford to attack the wealthier older voter to help redistribution? One of the big themes of our long-term study last year was that we thought we were at the end of a 35 year super cycle of policy, politics and with it interest rates and asset prices. Our argument was that the Trump and Brexit vote marked the turning point when the disenfranchised were starting to actually win elections/ referendums. If policy wasn't increasingly calibrated to these 'forgotten' people then the incumbents would get voted out. What we felt was that this would mean more fiscal spending, bigger deficits and less reliance on monetary policy at least until fixed income markets rebelled and then you'd probably get central banks forced to monetise that debt.
This was our slow roadmap for the future and nights like last night may be another inching towards that. As Mr Trump has discovered it's not easy to increase spending though but I think the trend will be up in the years to come....