Business leaders: Labour would be 'bad for business'

Stephan ShakespeareCEO and Co-Founder
March 11, 2015, 10:27 AM UTC

Business leaders think a Labour government would be bad for the economy and big business 

Recent YouGov polling has found the Conservatives outpolling Labour on business. They have a 48 point lead among the general public on being good for shareholders, and are perceived as being better for employees of big companies (8 point lead) and the economy as a whole (9 points). 

But what does the business community think? We repeated our previous research using YouGov’s Business Omnibus, interviewing high-profile business decision makers and leaders. The service routinely interviews business leaders at the top of their respective companies and industries.

81% of business leaders say the Conservatives would be good for shareholders who own big companies, compared to only 11% who say the same of Labour. 62% say that shareholders would be negatively affected by a Labour government. 

Labour would hope to find more support on being good for the employees and customers of big business. But again, the business leaders we surveyed feel the Tories would be better for both of these groups. Over half (51%) believe Labour would be bad for people who work for big companies, while 47% say customers would also suffer as a result of their plans. 

So what about the economy generally? Most business leaders (56%) believe the Conservatives would be good for the economy, while only 18% say Labour would be. 

In recent months, we have heard high-profile business leaders such as Boots CEO Stefano Pessina warning against the prospect of Ed Miliband in Downing Street. What is worrying for the Labour leader is that opinions in the business community are shared by the public.

Labour has courted the business community with its pro-Europe stance, but it may well be that old and deep-rooted perceptions are the hardest to change.

PA images

See the full poll results