Surprise, surprise, there is to be a General Election on 8 June! How exciting! We haven’t had the chance to vote on anything important since the referendum!

Some people are saying: “What, again?”

But many people in the world don’t have the same democratic rights that we do, and even in the UK, voting is a privilege that has only relatively recently been afforded to every citizen. Here’s a brief look back:

  • 1432 Only owners of property worth at least 40 shillings could vote in their county (usually men)
  • 1832 Extended to adult males who rented propertied land of a certain value, so 1 in 7 men had voting rights
  • 1867 Extended to men in urban areas who met a property qualification, meaning 40% of men were still disenfranchised
  • 1884 Addressed imbalances between town and country
  • 1918 All men over 21 won the right to vote. Votes were also given to 40% of women, although there were property restrictions and voting was limited to women over 30 years old. 7% of the electorate had more than one vote
  • 1928 All women over 21 won the right to vote and property restrictions were lifted, resulting in universal suffrage
  • 1948 Plural voting abolished
  • 1969 Extension of suffrage to everyone aged 18 and older

So, for 48 years, we all have the chance to have our say about who runs the country. Hoorah!

But how will the upcoming election affect your investments? Answer = probably not at all.

We found this lovely graph by Dimensional which shows how the stock market has performed since 1956 through successive governments and Prime Ministers. Guess what – the general trend just keeps going up!

Growth of pound

This confirms the advice we are always offering. Don’t be swayed by panic in the media. Don’t imagine that any individual so-called expert knows what will happen to the markets after the election. Investing in the stock market is a long-term strategy, so simply leave your investment plan as it is, and your wealth is sure to grow over time.

Of course, we have to issue a standard disclaimer. Past performance cannot be used as a guide to future performance. This is just an illustration of the capitalisation-weighted index of all securities in the UK market. The graph excludes REITs and investment companies and does not reflect expenses e.g. fund management fees. The data is sourced from CRSP, Compustat and Bloomberg securities, and has been retroactively calculated before 2008.

Basically, it doesn’t matter who lives at number 10 Downing Street. Well, it does – but not as far as your money in the stock market is concerned. Not everyone has always had the right to vote, so remember to get out there on 8 June and mark your X on the ballot paper.

This links to our previous article on the same topic: Ticka ticka ticka ticka timing

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