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A third of investors plan to change portfolios ahead of UK election

Poll shows personal investors fear election will hit equities

A third of personal investors plan to alter their investments in light of the General Election, research suggests.

A poll of 500 customers by The Share Centre shows that 33 per cent of investors expect the election to negatively impact the stock market while 25 per cent predict it will have a positive impact.

The Share Centre chief executive Richard Stone says: “Investors dislike uncertainty and it is perhaps unsurprising therefore that almost one in three are already changing their investment behaviour or are planning to do so as the election nears.

“While the political discourse over the next few weeks may have an influence on sectors and individual stocks proposals may be watered down or indeed not be implemented at all. As we have seen with previous political events, investors may prefer to look out for opportunities on the buy side in the immediate aftermath of the election.”

Of the respondents, 64 per cent plan to vote for the Conservatives (upfrom 63 per cent in the 2015 General Election) while 6 per cent intend to vote for Labour (down from 9 per cent) and 1.5 per cent for UKIP (down from 8 per cent).

The number of personal investors planning to vote for the pro-European Liberal Democrats has risen from 9 per cent to 13 per cent.

Outnumbering the investors who say they will vote Conservative, 83 per cent of the respondents said the Conservative Party best serves the needs of personal investors, with 78 per cent saying Theresa May would make the best Prime Minister.

The majority expect May to return as Prime Minister with an increased majority with 56 per cent optimistic on the Brexit deal she will negotiate.

While 74 per cent of investors said Brexit would have the biggest influence on their vote, 59 per cent cited the economy as the main issue and 46 per cent said they wanted the parties to incentivise young people to save more.

Stone says: “When it comes to the issues that matter to them in this election, Brexit remains the most important factor in personal investors’ minds when deciding which way to vote. However, top of their wish list for the new Government is the need for new incentives to encourage younger people to save more.

“I believe this reflects concern amongst personal investors that the next generations are not engaging with savings and investments as much as they should be and reflects broader concerns that savings rates have fallen in recent years.”

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