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General election good news for new car market

The General Election on May 5 could have a positive impact on new car sales, according to Glass’s Market Intelligence Service.

Analysis of the new car market over the past 50 years indicates that there was an increase in registrations in all but two of the 13 years in which a General Election was called. In six of these years, the growth in sales set a new record.

The previous years suggest that a sales boost could be a distinct possibility in 2005.

General Election year (year-on-year) Winning political party Registrations
1955 Conservative +30%
1959 Conservative +16%
1964 Labour +18%
1966 Labour -5%
1970 Conservative +11%
1974 Labour -24%
1979 Conservative +8%
1983 Conservative +15%
1987 Conservative +7%
1992 Conservative +1%
1997 Labour +7%
2001 Labour +10%

Glass's says that if the pattern of UK new car sales growth during election years is repeated in 2005, it would be less of a negative result than that predicted by most industry analysts, who forecast a modest fall in registrations compared to last year.

"Following the 2003 new car sales peak we saw a slight decline during 2004," says Alan Cole, editorial consultant for Glass's Market Intelligence Service.

"Most industry analysts predict a further decline for 2005 but, if history is anything to go by, this year's General Election could possibly make some of the industry's more negative forecasts look slightly pessimistic."

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