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Labour hold record lead over Tories among UK businesses, pollsters find

Labour have clocked up a record 17-point lead over the Conservatives among UK businesses ahead of the July 4 general election.
Labour have clocked up a record 17-point lead over the Conservatives among UK businesses ahead of the July 4 general election.

Labour have clocked up a record 17-point lead over the Conservatives among UK businesses ahead of the July 4 general election, pollsters at Savanta have found.

Sir Keir Starmer’s party secured 49 per cent among the 1,000 UK business leaders asked who would be ‘best for business in the UK’, versus Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives who trailed on 32 per cent, according to the first Savanta business tracker since the election was called.

It marks the biggest gap Savanta has ever recorded, after a week which saw Labour riven by a row over whether veteran left-winger Diane Abbott would be allowed to stand in her constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington, and a four-point rise on April’s figure.

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Starmer even extended his lead over Sunak among UK business leaders to 15-points, with the Labour politician on 46 per cent to his rival’s 31 per cent.

While shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves regained her 32 per cent lead over Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s 29 per cent.

Chris Hopkins, political research director at Savanta, said: “This election will be won by voters, not business leaders, but the change in business opinion towards the Labour Party and its leaders has been nothing short of transformational.”

Almost half, or 48 per cent, of bosses said either a majority Labour government or Labour as the largest party would be the best election outcome would be best for UK firms.

Labour also has an 18-point lead among small business leaders and a 14-point lead among leaders of medium and large-sized firms.

“One of the key tests of this election will be who the public trusts with the UK economy, and business support is a key litmus test of economic credibility, in particular for the Labour Party,” Hopkins added.

Savanta surveyed the UK-based decision-makers, including owners, directors and senior managers, between May 10-24.