Come dine with May

So we are off.

Just a few weeks after our strong and stable Prime Minister called for a General Election, and the Labour Party signed its own suicide note by supporting her, the real campaign has commenced.

Last week’s local elections represented the starter before the main. The country is ready to grab its proverbial knife and fork and tuck in.

Tory supporters will be hoping the main lives up to the starter. After a rampant performance last Thursday in which the party gained an astonishing 563 seats, pollsters have “Theresa May’s team”  between 18 -22 points head in the polls. In the local elections in 1983, held a month before the General Election, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservatives were 3% ahead in the projected vote share. That then translated to a lead of almost 15 points a month later. For the sake of comparison, the Tories were 11% ahead in the projected national vote share this time around. I will leave you to draw your own conclusion from that stat.

For Jezza and the team, the starter was less sumptuous. It was more gruel than steak tartare, more Wetherspoons than Michelin Star. The witty among you may muse that this is more in keeping with the leadership’s overtly Marxist leanings. Should you be curious, I can confirm, the gruel was locally sourced, organic, gluten-free and made by veritable members of an Islington-based proletarian co-operative. Viva la revolution!

The real star of the Labour campaign to date has been Diane Abbott. After a truly brilliant interview with Nick Ferrari on LBC, where she indicated the Labour Party would be paying 250,000 police officers the princely sum of £30 each at a cost of £300,000 over four years, she then proceeded to give a priceless post-election interview:

Interviewer: And do you know the number of net losses so far for Labour?

Diane Abbott: [Hesitates] At the time of us doing this interview I think net losses are about 50

Interviewer: There are actually 125 net losses so far.

Diane Abbott: Well, the last time I looked we had net losses of a hundred but obviously this is a moving picture.

She’s not wrong on that last sentence. The picture is moving so fast it shifted by 50 seats in five seconds! Perhaps Diane should be the one to break the news to Jezza on election night. I’d pay to watch that:

Jeremy Corbyn: So Diane, how are the results looking?

Diane Abbott: [Hesitates] At the time of delivering this news, I think we have won the election.

Jeremy Corbyn: Are you sure? I heard we’d lost 100 seats.

Diane Abbott: Well, the last time I looked we had net losses of a hundred but obviously this is a moving picture.

Should Diane Abbott lose her seat in June, we confidently predict her application to teach A-Level maths at the local comprehensive will be politely declined. Her interpretation of maths is so flexible, she’ll probably end up becoming a viability consultant.

It’s OK though, Jezza will ride to the rescue and “ruin the Tory party”  as outlined in his speech yesterday which launched Labour’s campaign. The sly old political operator is going to ruin them by helping to deliver a 100 seat Conservative majority – so brilliant is his plan, absolutely no one else seems to have clocked it yet!

But what about property and housing? The policy anoraks among you will be disappointed to date, although by Diane Abbott’s reckoning Labour have announced 42 separate initiatives on housing to date. In reality, the focus has been elsewhere to date, although Labour have announced they intend to a build half a million new homes in the next five years.

Now where have we heard that before? Didn’t David Cameron promise the same in 2015? Given that Theresa May nicked Labour’s energy cap policy idea, I suspect Jezza feels entitled to nick an idea from the Tories.

Beyond that housing and planning has been on the backburner with Brexit, immigration and energy policy have taken centre stage to date. Manifestos are due out next week and we should have more information on what each party proposes on by the end of next week. We will be looking out for commitments on:

  • The number of new homes to be built
  • Planning reform
  • Localism and neighbourhood planning
  • Green belt policy
  • The Private Rented Sector

We will be circulating our (less light-hearted) summary of these documents next week – in the meantime, if you want to get in touch about the election and the implications it might have on your project, call us on 0203 176 4161. You can also email your seat predictions through to

Whoever most accurately predicts the number of seats the Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems win, will get a bottle of champagne and a calculator signed by Diane Abbott.