LONDON: Senior advertising figures have welcomed the return of single-party majority government in the UK, as the Conservative party bucked the polling trends to win the general election outright.

Ian Twinn, director of public affairs at the ISBA, said that having a stronger government than the polls predicted "will give the UK and marketers much needed stability over the next five years".

Stability was also the watchword of Paul Smith, senior economist at Markit and author of the IPA Bellwether Report, who told Marketing Week that a stable government was regarded as a good measure for business confidence in general.

"On that basis of stability there will be no uncertainty around horse trading around a coalition government, which will be positive for the marketing industry," he declared.

The chief executive of the Advertising Association had a different agenda. "Creating jobs at twice the rate of the rest of the economy, driving growth and fuelling the creative industries, advertising is at the heart of the Tory long-term plan," claimed Tim Lefroy.

"We're well placed to build on progress made during the Coalition and push advertising further up the economic agenda," he added.

All this enthusiasm was rather tempered by the issue of Europe and the stated intention of the Conservatives to hold a referendum in 2017 on the UK's membership of the EU.

Having lauded the stability brought about by the party's election win, Smith conceded that a referendum "will cause uncertainty if they do go ahead with it".

Sir Martin Sorrell, head of WPP, has for several years warned of the disruptive impact on business of such a referendum.

Now that the Europe vote seems likely to happen, the much-vaunted stability may be only short-lived, with the possibility of "a protracted period of weakness for sterling," according to one analyst. That is unlikely to be welcomed by UK-based brands with a significant export business.

Data sourced from Marketing Week, Guardian; additional content by Warc staff