UK Election 2017

Citi Bank predicts landslide victory for UK Conservatives

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street in central London on April 18, 2017. British Prime Minister Theresa May called today for an early general election on June 8 in a surprise announcement as Britain prepares for delicate negotiations on leaving the European Union.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative party is poised for a landslide victory in the upcoming U.K. election and a clear path through to Brexit negotiations, Citi Bank has said.

New analysis from the bank suggests that the incumbent U.K. government could increase its parliamentary majority from 17 to almost 200 seats when Brits go to the polls on June 8, giving the party a clear lead to counter opposition as it embarks on upcoming Brexit talks.

The research, which assesses the likely outcome according to three possible scenarios, says that the Conservatives are set to gain a minimum of 104 seats and a maximum of 190 on top of the 330 currently held.

The three scenarios take into account the impact of a uniform increase in support for the Conservatives across all constituencies, as well as the impact of political leanings and potential tactical voting. They suggest that seats could rise by either 104, 106 or 190.

Under the predictions, the number of anti-EU Conservative MPs to get into power is likely to increase, noted the bank.

"Our simulations suggest that the anti-EU wing of the Conservative Party will be strengthened.

"It seems more likely than not that the new Tory MPs would predominantly be Eurosceptics, while some pro-EU Tories may lose their seats."

The Liberal Democrat party, which has undergone a recent resurgence in popularity, is the only other party likely to gain seats, according to the research – though this is likely to be limited to just three.

Meanwhile, Labour is set to lose between 100 and 200 seats. The SNP and UKIP are also expected to see losses.

What does this mean for Brexit?

A big parliamentary majority for the Conservatives would significantly boost May's mandate to pursue her 12 Brexit objectives. These include exiting the EU's Single Market and the Customs Union via a controlled transition period.

"A strengthened anti-EU wing in her party would likely support May's Brexit strategy," Citi noted.

"The focus will then turn to how comprehensive a free trade agreement the EU would be prepared to offer and what compromises the U.K. would be ready to make."

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