Breaking news and reaction about what the result means for the industry
RIBA President Jane Duncan said her organisation would continue to push the message with government that housing, infrastructure and good design in creating better communities were all linked, and that ministers should recognise the “absolutely vital role that architects play in improving lives. We will continue to reinforce this message with the new Conservative led-government.
“The forthcoming Brexit negotiations make this a particularly critical time for our sector, presenting challenges as well as opportunities for architects. The RIBA has been consistent and clear about our priorities: we must have access to the best talent from around the world, and mutual recognition of our members’ qualifications across the EU in order that the sector can continue to thrive.
“The RIBA will continue to serve as a strong voice for architects and calls on the UK government to provide confidence and stability to our sector as the country adapts over the forthcoming weeks, months and years.”
Following the formation of a coalition government between the Conservatives and the DUP, Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general, said the new administration had to refocus on the economy and needed to deliver an open, competitive and fair post-Brexit economy that worked for everyone across all of the UK and in the regions.
This could only happen if the next government did not put the brakes on business, remained open to the world and set out a pro-enterprise vision, she added.
“We need to move much faster to fix the foundations of the UK economy and our productivity problem. We need meaningful progress on a modern industrial strategy by the end of the year, with real change on the ground on skills, infrastructure and innovation.
“With only 10 days before Brexit talks begin, the UK needs to be fast out of the blocks. Agreeing transition arrangements and guaranteeing EU citizens’ rights should be early priorities to get the talks off to a good start and show to the world that trade and people come first.”
Theresa May has indicated she will be prime minister for the next five years and looks forward to working with the DUP, who won 10 seats in Northern Ireland yesterday.
In a speech May said that during the next five years, she would “build a country in which no one and no community is left behind. A country in which prosperity and opportunity are shared right across this UK.”
The Conservatives and DUP would work together “in the interests of the whole United Kingdom”.
She went on: “This will allow us to come together as a country and channel our energies towards a successful Brexit deal that works for everyone in this country, securing a new partnership with the EU which guarantees our long-term prosperity.
“That’s what people voted for last June, that’s what we will deliver. Now let’s get to work.”
May did not address the results of the general election in her speech.
“The surprising results of last night’s election make it hard to judge what the impact will be on the North,” said Steve Gillingham, Mace’s director for the region. “Whatever the make-up of the new government, it should recognise the potential for further growth in the regions – and work closely with our new metro mayors to achieve that vision.
“Our analysis of both sets of manifestos during the campaign showed that both Labour and the Conservatives were committed to developing significant regional infrastructure across the Northern Powerhouse, so I would expect to see that agenda develop regardless of any inertia created by the hung parliament.
“The UK is one of the most centralised countries in the world. A hung parliament highlights the benefits of having further devolution to the regions. While the makeup of the future leadership in Westminster is uncertain and there is likely to be more difficulty getting bills through parliament, devolution has given us a platform for stronger local leadership in the great cities of the North.”
Robert Meakin, partner at law firm Clyde & Co, said as well as the broader implications for the country, a hung parliament could be the “worst possible result” for the infrastructure industry.
“With the economy already struggling with the uncertainty of Brexit, the last thing we need is further confusion and delay in the government’s investment strategy.
The Article 50 clock was also ticking, Meakin said, and the industry would be eager to ensure there was a “clear and consistent voice” at the negotiating table, so as to minimise further damage to the economy. “The sooner a viable government is in place, however it’s composed, the better.”
New order data in the latest ONS figures was a cause for optimism, according to Will Waller, market intelligence lead at Arcadis.
He added that construction and speculative commercial and infrastructure sectors “face significant challenges in the coming months and years due to the renewed melee of volatility for decision makers in both government and the private sector that could threaten planned projects.
“However, despite the disquieting election result this morning, UK construction has clearly weathered the preceding year of uncertainty relatively well and there is therefore reason to have hope that it can continue to do so, with clear long term investment opportunities transcending relatively shorter term tumultuous for many investors.”
Cenkos analyst Kevin Cammack believed that large infrastructure projects could be kicked into the long grass as a result of the election outcome.
“This is a bigger worry, frankly, than what is likely to happen on the housing front. We could see more delays and stalling of projects, or even scaling back levels of intended infrastructure spending. Some will be thinking ‘what’s the point, given we might have another election in six months’ time?’.
Cammack also believed that fiscal support for private housing developers will be further scaled back, while life would be made easier, perhaps through things like planning, for the institutional market. “Private housebuilders aren’t going to hit a brick wall, but they have had everything they’re likely to get [in terms of fiscal help],” he said. “Will we see more new houses being built? Yes. Will we see 200,000 more new houses being built? No. More like 50,000 to 100,000, with much being BTR.”
There could also be a tightening of Help To Buy, although this would not be likely before 2021, he added.
The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) urged policy makers not to allow “power struggles and partisan wranglings” to obstruct progress on tackling emissions reduction.
Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of the UK-GBC, said: “Over the coming weeks and months, parliament must not let power struggles and partisan wranglings obstruct the immediate need for leadership and action on urgent policy imperatives such as housing, clean air, energy prices and the delayed Emissions Reduction Plan. The election campaign has highlighted the importance of these issues to voters alongside Brexit policy.
“These times of political turmoil, businesses need clarity and certainty to invest in a low carbon, internationally competitive economy. Steadfast commitment to tackling climate change is one rare area of agreement between the two main parties, so this political common ground must now be extended to decisive action on domestic carbon emissions reductions.”
Simon Child, director at architect Child Graddon Lewis, says the “clearest sign from this election is dissatisfaction with the last government on a range of issues, the sign of a weak government with a small majority.
“Everyone who works in the built environment is aware of the rapid improvements needed to develop our communities and economy, whether urban or rural. Two of the many themes all parties agreed on were the desperate need for more housing and preventative health measures.”
Child says the best outcome of a hung parliament “must be some form of coalition to push forward a rapid, diverse and collaborative housebuilding programme, as well as better transport infrastructure to connect communities and improve air quality”.
Voters have been “seduced” by Jeremy Corbyn’s “dangerous” campaign promises, says Julian Goddard, partner and head of residential at Daniel Watney.
“The last thing the London housing market needs right now is more uncertainty. House prices are stagnating and transactions falling, and without knowing the future direction of travel buyers and sellers are likely to hold off, compounding the problem.
“No doubt many voters were seduced by Jeremy Corbyn’s promises on housing, including rent caps and mass house building by local authorities, but the reality is most of his promises are unrealistic at best or dangerous at worst.
“Countless cities across the world have experimented with rent controls, and they have all ended with less and poorer quality rental homes. Meanwhile big question marks hang over whether councils have the capacity, resources or know-how to return to house-building as major players.”
Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland executive director Annie Mauger said her organisation is ready to work with whoever takes the reins of power.
“Whatever the new government looks like, we at CIH Scotland, along with our membership of housing professionals throughout Scotland, are ready to work with that government constructively to address the issues currently facing the housing sector.
“For Scotland, welfare reform is a key area of reserved policy where we hope politicians can work on a cross party basis to resolve significant issues of implementation which CIH Scotland members, working on the frontline of housing delivery, are currently having to deal with.”
Kevin Cammack, construction analyst with Cenkos, notes that housing minister Gavin Barwell losing his Croydon Central seat could create some issues for the construction industry. “He has generally been regarded by most interested parties as a positive influence on the sector but now the merry-go-round starts again and the Tories will be seeking a 6th minister in seven years for the post.”
Cammack also noted that a ‘softer’ Brexit, “if that means rights to residency/employment to EU nationals living in the UK, would undoubtedly help the construction industry which relies on migrant labour, often skilled, for around 17% of its workforce”.
Mark Robinson, chief executive of Scape Group, comments: “This result is a real shambles for both the country and our industry. We needed a party to secure a clear majority and a mandate to implement a fiscal strategy which would support the construction industry over the next five years.
“Instead, even though the votes have been counted, we are no closer to knowing who the government will be and, vitally, how long it will last.
“The one glimmer of good news is that there is cross party support for investment and growth in core public areas such as education, health and housing. While the parties might disagree on the exact delivery methods, we should see some certainty and stability there no matter the government.
“However, the delivery of flagship, major infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Heathrow expansion will now, unfortunately, be open to doubt and debate.
“The Industrial Strategy is now more important than ever. We need security and clarity on infrastructural investment across the country, as this is the backbone to continued economic growth and prosperity.
“Both the Welsh and Scottish national parties lost momentum last night, with the electorate providing a clear mandate in support of both Labour and Conservative policies. This is an indication that legislative devolution has reached its limit and that the UK needs to come to together to address overarching challenges; the most pressing being Brexit.”
Thesea May is expected to head to Buckingham Palace at 12:30pm after conversations with the DUP, it has been reported.
The DUP has won 10 seats in Northern Ireland, two more than in 2015.
However artist Grayson Perry appears to have got to the palace first, according to his twitter feed.
David Miliband has tweeted: “Wow. So good Labour stronger. So good Brutal Brexit rejected. So good next generation realized the stakes and spoke up.”
Nothing yet on twitter from US President Donald Trump.
Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, comments: “The surprise general election result has left key business sectors nervous.
“The construction sector is particularly vulnerable to dips in consumer confidence brought about by political uncertainty and therefore it’s crucial that this uncertainty is minimised.
“In the longer term, there could be a potential silver lining for the business community as the prospect of a hard Brexit now seems less likely.
“Brexit is inevitable but the election result will surely have a significant impact on the shape of the Brexit deal we end up with. This could be a positive for business leaders who are concerned about a broad range of issues – for the construction sector, our greatest concern is that the flow of migrant workers might be reduced too quickly and before we are able to put in place a framework for training sufficient UK workers to replace them.”
Conservative think tank The Bow Group is calling for a full leadership election of the party this year and a “total reform” of the Tories rules.
Melanie Leech, chief executive at the British Property Federation comments:”This is not the outcome the country needed going in to the Brexit negotiations or in terms of setting a clear direction for the UK’s future.
“Businesses don’t like uncertainty and there will clearly now be a further period of uncertainty, which will be unhelpful. Whilst there may be further uncertainty at a national level, BPF members will continue to work with local leaders, including the newly elected Mayors across the country, to invest in local communities - and we stand ready to work with whatever shape of government now emerges.”
Kensington and Cornwall North still to declare.
Marie-Claude Hemming, director of external affairs at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, comments: “With the shape of any future government hanging in the balance, we worry that this may create further delays to vital decisions that were put on hold due to the election.
“Our most recent member survey showed orders dropping for infrastructure contractors for the first quarter since 2013. A lack of clear leadership in Westminster creates a real risk that this potential future downturn will become entrenched due to an inability to get vital decisions over the line.
“We hope that there will be an early resolution to the current uncertainty over the shape of any new Government, allowing decisions on projects such as HS2 to be made and work to get underway on building the infrastructure that the UK needs.”
Mark Castle, deputy chief operating officer at Mace, comments: “This result is certainly not what most in the sector will have been expecting - or indeed hoping for - and it’s too early to tell what impact it will have in the long term. Investors and developers crave certainty and stability; there is a real risk that a hung parliament will slow investment and appointment decisions.”
Richard Laudy, global head of Infrastructure at Pinsent Masons, comments: “Whatever the wider political ramifications of a hung parliament might be, this looks like a bad result for the UK’s infrastructure as we head into another period of political uncertainty.
“The UK desperately needs to attract investors if it is to improve its ailing infrastructure yet the political uncertainty in which we now find ourselves is precisely what puts off investors and will make our infrastructure problems more difficult to solve.
Mathew Riley, managing director at Ramboll, comments:”Whilst the main parties have pledged to invest in our social and economic infrastructure there are some major differences in their approach. A hung parliament is potentially the worst possible outcome for our industry at a time when confidence needs to be restored and stable policies required for investment.”
EU Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt has tweeted: “Yet another own goal, after Cameron now May, will make already complex negotiations even more complicated.”
Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation said the election outcome was not what the country needed going in to the Brexit negotiations “or in terms of setting a clear direction for the UK’s future.
“Whilst there may be further uncertainty at a national level, BPF members will continue to work with local leaders, including the newly elected Mayors across the country, to invest in local communities – and we stand ready to work with whatever shape of government now emerges.”
Conservative MP for Shipley Philip Davies has said: “I think we’ve made a pig’s ear of the national campaign.”
Corbyn continues: “We are ready to do everything we can to put our programme into operation. There isn’t a parliamentary majority for anybody at the present time.”
BBC reports that Jeremy Corbyn has said: “We [ Labour] are ready to undertake negotiations on behalf of this country to protect jobs and have a sensible trade tariff-free trade arrangement with Europe.”
John Assael, chairman at Assael Architecture, comments:”Today’s result of a hung parliament was not expected and will not be welcomed by any in our sector.
“With Brexit negotiations looming, this general election was supposed to provide clarity and foresight on the most burning issues of our time, not extend the current period of uncertainty.
“Whatever form the government eventually takes, the priorities remain the same: affordable housing, a robust construction industry and greener, denser and more sustainable cities. Despite Brexit, the new government must not let the built environment slip down the agenda.”
Dean Clifford, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates, comments: With the pound plunging off the back of renewed uncertainty, the hung parliament may pose a good buying opportunity for overseas buyers but looking at home this is the last thing we need. The clock is ticking on Brexit negotiations, and without a good deal with the EU, London will lose a clear part of its attractiveness as a place to live, and all of Britain will be poorer for it.”
“A leadership election now would be a catastrophe,” former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith has said to BBC 4’S Today programme.
Her duty is to continue and form a government that will work for the UK.”
Robert Meakin, partner at Clyde & Co, comments: “In addition to the broader implications for the country, a hung parliament could be the worst possible result for the infrastructure industry. With the economy already struggling with the uncertainty of Brexit, the last thing we need is further confusion and delay in the government’s investment strategy.
Mark Farmer, chief executive of consutlant Cast and author of the Farmer Review, commissioned last year by the DCLG and BEIS, comments:
“The result of a hung parliament casts further uncertainty over the UK and could not have happened at a worse time.
“From a housing and construction perspective, the loss of housing minister, Gavin Barwell is disappointing as he appeared to have a good grasp of what is a very complex brief.
“What the next few weeks means generally for UK politics remains to be seen. The status of Brexit negotiations, commitments made in the Housing White Paper, the Industrial Strategy Green Paper and general approach to the construction industry as an instrument of policy are now all completely linked to the evolution of Tory party leadership and perhaps yet another General Election to overcome the impasse of a hung parliament.
“Whichever parties eventually form the government, there needs to be a comprehensive industrial strategy and housing policy focussed on both addressing skills shortages and increasing the UK’s structural capacity to deliver homes and infrastructure.”
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage speaking to the BBC has said that Theresa May should “absolutely” go. He’s also mooting a possible return if Brexit gets watered down.
Gunther Oettinger, the EU’s budget commissioner, has told German radio he’s unsure if Brexit negotiations can begin on time. Talks were expected to begin in 11 days’ time.
Stock Exchange listed Housebuilders are having a bad morning so far with shares down sharply.
Taylor Wimpey, Crest Nicholson, Berkeley and Persimmon are among the heaviest losers, with shares heading south by between 3 and 5.5%.
Greg Hill, deputy chief executive at housebuilder Hill, comments: “This hung parliament and the horse-trading that will take place over housing policy to get a coalition in place means that many housebuilders will hit the pause button on their investment decisions.
“This is the exact wrong moment for a construction slow down. The country needs new homes desperately. We hope that the negotiations are concluded rapidly so that the new government is in place and ready to work with the sector to go out and get building.”
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Labour plan to attempt to form a minority government calling Theresa May “a lame duck prime minister”.
Still no result in Kensington in west London after two recounts.
Adam Challis, head of residential at JLL, comments: “Under Theresa May, the UK has some political continuity, but a coalition government provides the economy with less stability. The short-term impacts are uncertain and this could drag on housing market activity if clear political leadership does not emerge quickly.
“It is likely that we will see some ministerial shake-ups in the coming days and weeks. For the most part, big changes would be unfortunate with respect to senior housing market posts, notably the loss of Housing Minister Gavin Barwell. It will be crucial that the new champions of housing market policy in government can reaffirm commitments to the current policy direction rather than to create further disruption or uncertainty.”
“We call on government not to lose sight of the key domestic policy challenges. It is vital that the UK government can forge a deeper commitment to housing supply solutions, recognising the common purpose of a wide range of stakeholders in the private sector.”
Four seats are still to be declared, but it’s official: we have a hung parliament.
The Conservatives currently have 315 seats to Labour’s 261 - a loss of 16 seats for the Tories and a gain of 29 seats for Labour.
The Lib Dems have picked up four new seats taking them to a total of 12 although Nick Clegg, former leader of the party has lost his, while the SNP has lost 21 seats including Alex Salmond’s.
Zack Goldsmith has also won back his Conservative seat - Richmond Park - by just two votes after he resigned last year as he attempted to take Boris Johnson’s old London mayor post and the government’s go-ahead for Heathrow’s third runway.
However, former housing minister Gavin Barwell has lost his Croydon central seat.