It’s that time again: Britain is on course for another General Election, after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announced he was ready to fight the “most radical election ever”.
But Brits have endured more than three years of uncertainty since the EU referendum, and few groups of workers have felt the effects of it more sharply than those based in the Square Mile.
City A.M. sent its reporters out onto the streets to find out what City workers thought about the first December election since 1918.
‘I worry about the result’
Many workers were hopeful an election would help MPs break through the Brexit impasse – but were not sure it would clarify numbers in Parliament. Some were even concerned it would give power to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – a result that appears unlikely, according to most polls.
“I worry about the result. It’s going to be very uncertain,” said Mike Stickland, an actuary based near Leadenhall Market. “But it will provide a way forward that will hopefully then lead to resolution whether Brexit is happening or not.
“It is frustrating but fascinating. I’m very heavily on the Remain side but I acknowledge that’s not the way the entire country feels. But I think everyone thinks a way forward needs to be found.”
“It won’t resolve the numbers in Parliament, but it will resolve that Corbyn will no longer be the obstacle to progression and a people’s vote.”
Stephen, an international project manager at Sampo, said: “I’m concerned about the outcome because I don’t want Corbyn to get in. I don’t think it’s likely, but who expected Boris Johnson to be Prime Minister?”
‘It’s about time’
Some people were more optimistic, telling City A.M. an election would give the Conservatives a resounding majority, and a subsequent mandate to remove Britain from the EU.
James Bromley-Challenor, an insurance broker for Elmore Brokers, said: “I think it’s about time. It was the only action that was going to move anything forward. It is a relief in the sense that there is some sort of progress in a way. Something had to change and I think this was probably for the best.”
He added that Boris Johnson was his preferred candidate, but only because he is “the best of a bad lot”.
“I don’t like any of the alternatives.”
Michael McDonagh, an insurance broker, added: “It was always going to happen it was just a question of when. Boris needs it to get Brexit through.
“The Conservatives will get a slam dunk majority … a proper majority this time. I’m not a fan of Boris though.”
‘I’m getting a bit fed up with it’
Others appeared to be sick of the political uncertainty which has dominated the news cycle for the last three years, and were concerned an election would do little to stop it.
David Bennetts, an insurance underwriter, said: “I don’t think it will [break the impasse], I think it will continue on. Despite us getting over this hurdle I think there will be others to go through as well.
Oscar, another insurance worker added: “The country’s as divided as it possibly could be at the moment so it can’t get any worse.”
“Is it really going to solve the problems we’ve got at the moment with Brexit? I’m not entirely sure. People are going to be more annoyed and political fatigue will get worse.”
Gemma an IT sales worker, added: “I’m just getting a bit fed up with it, to be perfectly honest. I’d rather they just sort it out one way or the other.”