Labour Scores Large Lead in Survey of UK Business Preference

(Bloomberg) -- A poll of UK company leaders says Labour is the best party for business, signaling the opposition’s push to win over the corporate sector is paying off.

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In its first business tracker survey ahead of the July 4 UK general election, the polling company Savanta found Labour held a 17-point lead over the Conservatives, the largest gap recorded since it started the survey in September.

Nearly half of those asked said the best election outcome would be Keir Starmer’s party either winning a majority or being the largest party.

The Labour leader and shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves have pushed to improve relations with business after Jeremy Corbyn’s left-leaning leadership came to an end in 2020.

Many in the City remain angry with the Conservative Party over its role in Brexit, the political turmoil of having three prime ministers in two years, and the blow to stability from short-lived premier Liz Truss’s 2022 mini-budget, which caused chaos in financial markets and damaged the UK’s reputation.

“The change in business opinion towards the Labour Party and its leaders has been nothing short of transformational,” said Chris Hopkins, director of political research at Savanta.

The polling firm interviewed 1,000 UK “business decision makers” — typically either small business owners and directors, and large business senior managers — from May 10 through May 24. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the July election date on May 22.

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