General Election 2015 results: Pound jumps against the dollar on exit polls

 
Emma Haslett
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The pound rose as markets showed their approval for a potential Conservative lead (Source: Getty)

The pound bounced against the dollar after exit polls suggested the Conservative Party had a wider-than-expected lead over its rivals in the General Election.

At midnight, the pound was up 0.94 per cent against the dollar at $1.5388. However, immediately following the poll it peaked at $1.5445.

Read more on this story: Just how accurate are exit polls?

Although pollsters have suggested the idea of the Tories gaining 326 seats, which they would need for a majority, is unlikely, the chances of another Conservative-led coalition are looking increasingly strong.

Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank, suggested markets would view the exit poll favourably.

"The result... averts the risk of a tilt towards leftist policies under a Labour government relying on SNP support. The need for the Conservatives to find support for their policies from the LibDems and/or the DUP may help to blunt some of the harsher edges of envisaged Conservative expenditure cuts, helping to keep the UK economy close to its 2.5 per cent rate of trend growth."

However, he suggested the threat of a so-called "Brexit" would cause jitters among investors.

"With the Conservatives ahead, Britain would almost certainly hold a referendum on leaving the EU in late 2017. That keeps the Brexit risk alive. But with Ukip failing to make major inroads, Brexit remains highly unlikely, in our view.

"Last year, the right-wing anti-European English nationalists of Ukip had made headlines with 27.5 per cent of the vote at the EU parliamentary elections in May 2014 and by winning two by-elections in a row.

"The much weaker result for Ukip now shows that Britons, if asked a serious question in a serious poll, give a serious answer, as the Scots had done upon rejecting independence with a 55 per cent to 45 per cent margin. As Cameron will likely secure a few face-saving compromises from Europe as he tries to negotiate some EU reforms, we expect a clear 'yes' to the EU in a UK referendum in late 2017."

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