The industry’s support for the Tories was highlighted by the 2015 Construction News Barometer, which showed that almost three quarters of construction companies (73.8 per cent) believed the Tories understood the industry better than their rivals, compared with only 19 per cent saying the same of the Labour Party.
The results revealed that 87.8 per cent of respondents planned to vote Conservative in the general election.This support largely reflects the Party’s pledge to support construction, including building 100,000 new homes for first-time buyers and extending Help to Buy to 2020 - two schemes that should keep business moving.
Signs of returning strength were seen in the increase in shares in house builders after the election result came in, with gains of up to 11 per cent seen on Friday morning (8 May), following the news that the Tories had won with a majority.
The news will be welcomed by the construction industry, especially after recent surveys suggested private developers had hit the brakes ahead of the election. A survey by industry analyst Glenigan revealed that uncertainty over the election had contributed to an 11 per cent fall in project starts during the three months to April.
Additionally, the CIPS/Markit Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 54.2 in April from 57.8 a month earlier - the slowest growth in nearly two years.
Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit attributed this slow-down to delays in client budget setting and a reduced commitment to building projects.
"Despite experiencing pre-election risk aversion among clients in April, construction companies indicated a strong degree of confidence regarding the year-ahead outlook,” he said.
"Taken as a whole, the latest survey presents a far more upbeat picture than the curiously weak official construction output data for the first quarter of 2015."