2024 General Election: Impact on UK Construction.

What Will This Year’s General Elections Mean For The UK Construction Industry - Maguire Brothers

What will this year’s general election mean for the UK construction industry?

More than half the people who live on the planet live in a country which will hold an election in 2024. An estimated 2 billion people, in 70 countries, will be casting their votes, and that includes the UK.

So what is the likely general election outcome here in the UK and how might that effect the roofing market in which we operate?

As you know we specialise in the re-roofing of existing commercial buildings but the impact will no doubt vary across sectors.

We believe that the result will be a Labour victory which will require a record swing of 12% away from the existing conservative government lead by Rishi Sunak. Tony Blair by comparison, managed a 10% swing in the 1997 Labour ‘landslide’.

Our prediction is largely based on the fact that the Conservative Party is still riven by internal factionalism between the far right and the centre. Recent outbursts have included the sacking of Suella Braverman and the difficulty Sunak had in getting support for the parliamentary vote on deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda.

These internal disputes are crippling the government and making it ineffective, just when it needs to be united with a clear vision. Like this, it seems highly unlikely that the party will be able to come together and mount a coherent general election campaign.

The Labour Party had a similar issue in the past, believing after Gordon Brown’s election defeat was because they had moved too far from the left. Enter Jeremy Corbyn who drove the party further and further to the left, losing two general elections in the process.

After 14 years in opposition and under the leadership of Kier Starmer, the party has realised that the country as a whole wants to be led by a moderate centrist party. Kier Starmer has moved Labour back to the centre, gaining ground from the conservatives.

It will probably be another 10 years before the Conservative Party come to the same conclusion and start to turn their ship around.

So what will a Labour government mean for the UK Roofing Industry?

We believe that the new government will pursue an economic policy designed to stimulate economic growth. We don’t think it will pursue a ‘tax and spend’ policy, a feature of some Labour administrations in the past which were more left wing leaning. The already record levels of taxation make ‘tax and spend’ even less likely.

This will be a more centrist Labour government along the lines of Tony Blair’s ‘New Labour’, giving businesses and industry incentives to invest and grow. It will be a fairly slow burn, especially to start with because, as we’ve all seen the country is strapped for cash and burdened with debt. There is little to give away. Even the conservative government recognised this with their Autumn Statement.

We think the Labour party’s first term of government will provide opportunities for healthy, cash rich companies who will have the resources to take advantage of the opportunities without borrowing. On the other hand weaker or heavily geared businesses may continue to struggle and find things difficult.

In 2010 Blair’s government took over an economy in good shape and as long as the current chancellor Jeremy Hunt, doesn’t have a last minute rush of blood to the head or a Liz Truss/Quasi Kwarteng moment, the new government should have a steady ship to take over.

This article, as with all other articles we produce, is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute formal advice and should not be relied upon as such. For bespoke, unbiased advice relating to your commercial roofing project please contact us and we would be pleased to assist.

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