Responses by more than 130 readers show more than half are likely to vote for Keir Starmer’s party on 4 July

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More than half of Building readers who completed our online survey said that they plan to vote for Labour in the general election next month.

The poll showed that 67 of the 133 respondents are “most likely” to put a cross next to the Labour candidate on 4 July, compared to just 22 (17%) who said they would vote for the Conservatives.

The findings indicate a significant shift since 2019, as 38% of the same respondents said they had voted Conservative in 2019, compared with just 33% who voted for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour. 

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More than half (54%) of readers say Labour would be the best party for the built environment in general. The Conservatives came in third place on this question, with just 16% of the responses, behind the Liberal Democrats who received 22%.

Nearly two in three respondents (65%) said they trusted Labour most “on ensuring greater public spending on capital programmes such as schools, housing, hospitals, transport and other infrastructure”. This compared with 13% who answered Conservative, 11% Liberal Democrat and 8% Green.

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Labour also emerged as the party most trusted by poll respondents to unlock the planning system (59%), to establish a robust training system (65%) and to establish best procurement practices for public contracts (60%) However the Green party emerged as the most trusted on energy and climate policies to help the built environment meet net zero targets, with 50% of responses compared with Labour’s 31%.

The findings come as a number of industry leaders have said privately or publicly in recent months that they are more supportive of Labour than they were previously.

One main contractor boss, who wished to remain anonymous, said he felt the Labour leadership had been listening to industry and that the party’s promise of change was needed. “We need fresh leadership, new ideas and a new impetus,” he added. ”I’m optimistic about Labour.”

Adam Turk, the new chair of the Construction Products Association and a former Conservative party member, told Building that his “gut feel” is that Labour will “probably engage better, give the industry a bit more time and will probably provide a better platform for the construction industry”.

He thinks the party “recognises the need to devise plans for infrastructure and housing”. He added however he is concerned Labour might increase taxes.

Others have emphasised their disappointment with the current government. Steve Morgan, founder of housebuilder Redrow and a former Conservative donor, told Building last year that it feels like the government “wants to destroy” the housebuilding industry through its planning reforms and regulations. He said it was anathema to him that Labour can now “claim to be the party of the homebuyer”.


Building’s reader poll was open from 30 May to 9 June.

It was filled in firms of different types and sizes (see boxes below)

Turnover% of total
Under £5m 30%
£5m-£49m 30%
£50m-£249m 14%
£250m-£499m 5%
£500m+ 21%


Type of company% of total
Contractor 11%
Consultant/QS 26%
Housebuilder 7%
Architect 18%
Subcontractor 5%
Manufacturer 5%
Private sector client 7%
Public body 23%

Keir Starmer last week announced that a Labour government would introduce a “permanent” mortgage guarantee scheme. The party has also pledged to re-instate housing targets, shake-up planning laws, build new towns and develop ‘grey belt land’.

It wants to merge the National Infrastructure Commission and the Independent Projects Authority and introduce a law forcing government departments to draw up skills improvement plans in high migration sectors including construction.

One poll respondent said: “If housing were affordable, benefit bills would reduce. If it were robustly built, repair bills would reduce. If the environment were cleaner, health services would be less burdened, so Labour seems best placed to achieve all that.”

Another said: “I think the Labour party has the best instincts towards the economy in general and construction industry in particular.”

Several said Labour would be stronger on planning. “I think Labour will cut through a lot of the resistance being faced by the Tories from nimbys and decrepit backbenchers.”

However not all poll respondents agreed, with quite a few unsure about Labour’s ability to handle the economy. “I have to go by past actions, promises and U-turns – the economy will probably get trashed under Labour… For business’ sake, I have to stick with the Tories,” one poll respondent said.

More poll findings


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Election focus

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With the UK set for a general election on 4 July, net zero funding and capability, skills shortages and a worsening housing crisis all amount to a daunting in-tray for the next government.

This year’s general election therefore has very high stakes for the built environment and the economy as a whole. 

Building’s election coverage aims to help the industry understand the issues and amplify construction’s voice so that the parties hear it loud and clear.