They say a lot can happen in a week. Well this will be one to forget for Theresa May who has had a tough few days, culminating in a huge by-election shock in Richmond Park where the unashamedly pro-Europe, anti Hard-Brexit Liberal Democrat candidate Sarah Olney overturned a 23,015 majority against ex-conservative and former London Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith.
Politics has moved front and centre this year, as both Brexit and the Donald Trump presidential campaign victory have caused a seismic geopolitical shift which, in turn, has had a material impact on the investment markets. It will be interesting to view whether or not the result in this by-election will cause the government to soften their stance on Brexit, but either way, it seems that the so-called 48% are not quite ready to roll over yet.
This weekend also sees two other significant political events which could have a material impact on the markets with the Italian referendum on constitutional reform and a rerun of the election in Austria which will see the Green-backed candidate, Alexander Van der Bellen, fight it out against the far-right populist Norbert Hofer.
It will be interesting to see how the Euro reacts if Renzi is unsuccessful, paving the way for the anti-establishment, anti-EU Five Star Movement to gather a greater influence in Italian politics.
Ultimately, we believe that solid, high-quality, cash generative businesses will continue to offer attractive returns for investors over the medium to long term and political events will not specifically change that view, however we are always aware of the implications of political events and how they impact the companies that we invest in and the asset classes and geographies that we allocate to.
Please be aware that the value of investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than originally invested.
The Liberal Democrats have caused a major upset in the Richmond Park by-election, overturning a 23,015 majority to oust ex-Tory MP Zac Goldsmith.