Manufacturers Overwhelmingly Back Labour Ahead of Snap Election

Although the manufacturing sector experienced growth in May for the first time since April 2022, manufacturers continue to favour a Labour government. This preference aligns with the sentiments of business leaders across various industries and the latest YouGov polls of the general public.

With Labour coming out on top - the research confirms that Conservatives have a mountain to climb if they hope to win over the sector. Only 30% of manufacturers think the party has benefited them over the past 50 years (followed by 48% thinking Labour has) - and at the same time - the data finds a loss of trust in Conservative campaigning with only 25% thinking the party will stick to its election promises. 

Overall, the research which surveyed 500 UK manufacturers found a positive outlook for the sector, with the majority (57%) stating the sector was growing, followed by 35% describing it as stable - only 8% described the sector as in decline. 

While overall sentiment from manufacturers is vastly in favour of the Labour Party, all parties are expected to have their work cut out to boost the economy. When asked what particular policies they felt had benefited the sector in the past tax cuts (43%), free trade agreements (38%), and infrastructure spending (32%) came out on top. However, the top three were closely followed by skills and labour- with 29% citing apprenticeship schemes, and 28% citing strong trade unions as beneficial for the sector.  

As Labour and Conservatives confirm their campaign pledges in the run up to the election they’re being closely watched by manufacturers. A whopping 96% say they’re closely following the parties’ campaign promises and policy proposals. 

Paul Ellis, UK Director, Medius says: “UK manufacturers are clear on which party they’re putting their trust in to steer the sector forward. It’s an important moment for the sector which has been battling with high energy costs, high inflation and high interest rates over the past few years - but as a sector, it has shown extraordinary resilience and adaptability to return to growth this year. With all eyes on the election and the party’s policy proposals, it can be easy to forget how the sector itself has responded to global economic shifts and technological changes to boost productivity and emerge stronger this year. I’m looking forward to seeing how the proposals speak to business leaders in the sector.”


The research was conducted by Censuswide with 500 business leaders in manufacturing in the UK (aged 18+) between 14/04/24 - 25/04/24. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council.


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