Utility Week

UTILITY Week 6th March 2015

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12 | 6th - 12th March 2015 | UtILItY WEEK W ith the 2015 general election look- ing like it will fail to result in a majority for a single party, there could be fraught coalition negotiations going on behind the scenes before the identity of the new prime minister is known. It seems unlikely that either the Con- servatives or Labour will win a majority on 7 May, with recent polling expected to give Coalition combos A hung Parliament would mean another coalition, but between which parties – and what does it mean for utilities? each party somewhere around 280-290 seats. With the smaller parties hoping for bumper results, their influence over the next govern- ment's policies could be significant if a new coalition is formed. Utility Week Lobby looks at what the dif- ferent governments and coalition combi- nations could mean for water and energy businesses. Lobby Election / Party conferences coalition scenarios with david cameron as prime minister Conservative/Lib Dem CoaLition mk2 If the Lib Dems come through the election relatively unscathed and keep a significant proportion of their 56 seats, they could once again play king-maker. With the uneasy coalition part- nership having already survived five years, each side may look to stay the course, and carry on as they are. But there could be significant shake-ups within each party. Cameron may go if he fails to win outright, so might Clegg. The policy agenda of the past five years would be set to continue, along with the mixed messages. Fracking is likely to be pursued but with an increased environ- mental focus. The new nuclear programme would be expected to press on, while renewables subsi- dies – and the cost to consumers – will be slowly reduced. energy secretary: ed Davey – unless he becomes party leader and deputy prime minister environment secretary: Liz truss If Ukip has a successful election, taking seats from Labour and the Lib Dems, while the Tories keep their end up with more than 300 seats, a right-wing coalition could be formed. Ukip's cabinet priority will be the Home Office, but with a strong anti-renewable, pro-coal and gas stance, they may take an interest in energy. Decc could be disbanded. With a strong right-wing mind- set, the climate change sceptics may have a louder voice, resulting in renewables subsidies being rolled back across the board. There is likely to be a dash for shale gas, and a lighter regulatory regime for the utilities. energy secretary: matthew Hancock + possible Ukip minister environment secretary: Liz truss "We have to keep our coal-fired power stations open." Ukip's 2014 energy policy rigHt-wing UniteD front no DeaL a coalition government may not be formed, or even needed come 8 may. However, even if either the Conservatives or Labour do gain the seats needed, it is likely to be a small majority. the Conservatives have also said they would be willing to form a minority government if they are the largest single party after the election. but ruling as a minority govern- ment is fraught with difficulties and deals would have to be formed on a case-by-case basis to push legislation through. a lot could ride on the outcome of the english votes for english laws debate. rumour has it the tories have a second election fund ready to go, and could push for a snap election later in the year after ruling as a minority government. 650 326 totaL nUmber of seats magiC nUmber neeDeD for an oUtrigHt majority

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