UK General Election results in Hung Parliament - Immigration Policy may change

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07 May 2010


Almost all the results have come in for the UK General Election. As expected there have been significant gains for the Conservatives. The Conservatives are expected to increase their MPs in parliament by about a hundred. The Labour Party will lose about ninety seats and the Liberal Democrat will lose about five seats. This means that for the first time in over thirty years there will be a Hung Parliament. No single political party will have enough of a majority to form a Government by themselves.

Percentage share of the vote:

Conservative: 36.2
Labour: 29.1
Liberal Democrat: 22.9

The Conservative or Labour Party will have to reach an agreement with the Liberal Democrats on power sharing. The Liberal Democrats have more liberal views on immigration issues than the other parties. Overall, this may benefit immigrants who wish to come to the UK or remain in the UK.

The current Labour Government remains in place and wishes to strike a deal with the Liberal Democrats to stay in power. The Liberal Democrat Leader in his campaign promise has said that he would prefer to form a Government with the Party who will have the most seats in Parliament which is the Conservative Party. However, a deal with either the Labour or Conservative Party has not been ruled out. Nick Clegg has said the following:

"It is now for the Conservative Party to prove that it is capable of seeking to govern in the national interest."

If the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats form the Government then this may lead to tougher immigration requirements than would be the case if the Labour Party was in Government. It should be remembered that the Conservatives would like to have a quota on the number of immigrants allowed entry to the UK. It is hoped that the Liberal Democrats will have a moderating influence on immigration policy.

If the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats form a Government then we suspect that the Labour Government will continue with their current immigration reforms. Unless the Liberal Democrats exert a considerable degree of influence on immigration policy this may also mean tougher immigration requirements in future.

At the current time it is uncertain who will form the new UK Government. If you meet the requirements for entry to the UK say on a Tier 1 visa or Tier 2 visa or other visa it may be worth reviewing your immigration options right now. It will take some time for a new Government to be formed in the UK. In the meantime, you have an opportunity to come under the current immigration rules. It is not certain when changes for example to the earnings multiplier for Tier 1 visas will occur.