Britain has just kicked off five weeks of campaigning in an election that presents a scary choice for business.
Both of the parties most likely to lead the next U.K. government have policies that worry entrepreneurs and senior executives. And opinion polls suggest the outcome of the vote on May 7 is highly unpredictable.
If the center-right Conservative Party is re-elected, it will hold a referendum that could trigger Britain’s exit — or Brexit — from the European Union.
If the center-left Labour Party wins, it will raise some taxes and regulate some industries more tightly.
“A soothing outcome for markets is hard to imagine,” noted BlackRock in its election preview. “Labour would be tough on business — and might be perceived as lacking fiscal responsibility. [Conservatives] would pave the way for an unsettling referendum in 2017.”
Britain has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and is creating jobs at a record pace. So why isn’t business more relaxed about the outcome?