Building survey of the industry shows Labour leading the Tories, and more trusted to negotiate Brexit
Construction will vote Labour in next week’s general election with Jeremy Corbyn’s party leading the second-placed Tories by close to three percentage points, according to a Building survey of more than 1,100 readers.
The survey found that just over 39% said they would vote Labour on 8 June, ahead of Theresa May’s Conservatives who had 36.5% of the vote. The Liberal Democrats trailed in third place with close to 18%. The Greens had a score of just over 5% while UKIP polled less than 1%.
The survey split construction into nine sectors, with four coming out in favour of voting for Labour.
Support was driven by consultants, architects and construction professionals working for public bodies. Thirty eight per cent of consultants, who made up 36% of the survey sample, said they would vote for Labour, while 51% of architects (13% of respondents) backed Corbyn. Just over half of public sector professionals (10% of the sample) came out in favour of Labour.
The Conservatives were the most popular party to vote for among contractors, 49%, subcontractors, 48%, housebuilders, 48%, and manufacturers, 41%. Support for the Liberal Democrats was high among subcontractors with 20.7% support, followed by architects with 20.4%.
Labour’s policies, which include a £250bn National Investment Bank to put money into transport, energy and digital infrastructure projects along with a pledge to build 100,000 affordable homes a year, as well as backing for Crossrail 2 and a promise to extend HS2 to Scotland, were seen as best for construction by 44% of respondents. The Tories trailed on 37% with the Liberal Democrats coming in at 14%.
And the industry backs Labour to look after its interests in the upcoming Brexit negotiations with the EU when it comes to skills.
The party scored highly when respondents were asked how much they trusted it on issues such as ensuring the rights of EU workers already in the UK, allowing skilled workers in under a new immigration policy and establishing a robust training system.
It also scored highly on the issue of spending on major construction projects.
But the survey found that the industry most trusts the Conservatives over classifying construction as a high priority in the Brexit negotiations, ensuring barrier-free access for construction products and establishing best procurement practices.
Earlier this year, a leaked Whitehall document revealed the government considered the construction sector to be “low priority” in its forthcoming Brexit negotiations – a decision which was criticised by the peer supporting the Building a Better Brexit campaign.
In a debate on the Brexit bill back in February, Lord Andrew Stunell said the industry had been “completely ignored” by the government.
Respondents to the Building survey were also asked how they voted in the 2015 election, which revealed that the Tories secured 40.4% of their votes, Labour 31.9%, Lib Dems 14.2%, Greens 8.1% and UKIP 5.3%.
The survey was carried out from 19-25 May following publication of the Labour and Tory manifestos.
Survey results: Construction backs Labour
In an election survey of Building readers’ voting intentions, the Labour Party has secured a 2.9 percentage point lead over the Conservatives. Jeremy Corbyn’s party has taken the advantage with 44% of respondents also stating that Labour’s policies would be best for construction. This compares with only 37% saying the Tories would be best, and the Liberal Democrats trailing at 14%.
The survey split construction into nine sectors, with four coming out in favour of voting for Labour. Support was driven by consultants, architects and construction professionals working for public bodies. Thirty eight per cent of consultants, who made up 36% of the survey sample, said they would vote for Labour, while 51% of architects (13% of respondents) backed Corbyn. Just over half of public sector professionals (just 10% of the sample) came out in favour of Labour.
Highlights - Breakdown of results by profession:
Contractors (19% of respondents)
49.4% will vote Conservative
36.1% will vote Labour
11.4% will vote Liberal Democrat
50.6% think the Conservatives have the best policies for construction
52% trust the Conservatives to classify construction as a high priority sector in the Brexit negotiations
Consultants (35.5% of respondents)
38.3% will vote Labour
36.2% will vote Conservative
19.3% will vote Liberal Democrat
45.2% think Labour have the best policies for construction
53.9% trust Labour to create appropriate levels of training and apprenticeship opportunities
Architects (13.2% of respondents)
50.9% will vote Labour
18.5% will vote Conservative
20.4% will vote Liberal Democrat
50% think Labour have the best policies for construction
69% trust Labour to ensure greater public spending public projects such as schools, housing, hospitals and transport and other infrastructure
Housebuilders (3.3% of respondents)
47.8% will vote Conservative
30.4% will vote Labour
17.4% will vote Liberal Democrat
Labour and Tories were equally trusted on construction policies with 35% each
56% trust the Conservatives to share ideas and resources to develop off-site technology and other innovations
Subcontractors (3.3% of respondents)
48.3% will vote Conservative
20.7% will vote Labour
20.7% will vote Liberal Democrat
44.8% think the Conservatives have the best policies for construction
Manufacturers (6.3% of respondents)
40.7% will vote Conservative
37.3% will vote Labour
17% will vote Liberal Democrat
44.1% think the Conservatives have the best policies for construction
52.5% trust the Conservatives to classify construction as a high priority sector in the Brexit talks
Public sector (10% of respondents)
52.9% will vote Labour
24.7% will vote Conservative
15.3% will vote Liberal Democrat