Snap poll finds profession wants Corbyn in No10
Architects believe Labour is the party that would be best for construction, but when it comes to voting intentions the Lib Dems are biting at Jeremy Corbyn’s heels, according to a snap poll.
Just over 49% of respondents felt Labour would do the best job for construction in general, with a majority also backing the party to deliver on a range of individual issues as well.
But the snapshot survey of architects, by Building Design’s publisher Assemble Media Group, found 37% are planning to vote Labour on Thursday, putting them only marginally ahead of the Lib Dems on 33%.
The Conservatives are trailing in third place, with less than 10% of architects who responded to the poll saying they planned to vote for the incumbents.
The Greens got 7% of the vote and Scottish National Party 2%, while the Brexit Party got a resounding 0.0%.
Labour also came top in questions about which party the respondents trusted to secure a frictionless Brexit trade agreement (43%); to invest in infrastructure projects (40%); to spend on capital projects such as schools and hospitals (65%); to embrace digital technology (42%); and to establish an immigration policy that ensures projects aren’t delayed (43%).
It also topped the poll over who would be most likely to shift procurement culture from lowest price to best value – but was only 2% ahead of the Lib Dems on this.
Fifty percent also backed the statement that the next government should bring back a chief construction advisor, while 82% said the next housing minister should be kept in post for longer than 12 months to put an end to the revolving doors at the MHCLG.
Labour has pledged £75bn for housing and a further £250bn for infrastructure and enterprise, committing to the Northern Powerhouse rail scheme and pledging to build the full HS2 route.
The snapshot survey, conducted over nine days last month, put similar questions to 400 people in the wider construction industry, a quarter of them architects.
The findings of the overall survey were similar to the results from architects, with a majority – 43% – across all professions thinking Labour would be best for construction as well as backing Corbyn for prime minister – albeit by just two percentage points ahead of Jo Swinson and the Lib Dems.
The industry backs the Conservatives to deal best with national infrastructure projects – with 41% support – as well as to embrace digital technology (36%) and embed offsite technology (37%).
It thinks Labour would perform best on the housing crisis (48%) and on ensuring greater public spending on capital projects such as schools and hospitals (56%). Labour also won on rebalancing the economy in favour of the north of England by investing in transport, housing and other capital projects (53%). The Green Party was backed as best on investing to tackle the climate crisis, with 42% of the vote.
But respondents complained that construction was still a “Cinderella industry” compared with automotive and finance.
One respondent who works for a major contractor said: “For construction, both parties are promising huge spending but there’s no sense they’ve seriously considered the complexity of delivering those plans.”