Great Britain Heads to Vote: Polls Favor Labour Party

Britain's economic performance is improving, but favorable statistics will do little or nothing to help the Conservatives win a national election

Shevaun Haviland

According to recent opinion polls, in the UK general election on July 4, the Labour Party “would have little trouble winning the election and inflicting the Conservatives’ worst defeat in more than a century.” The Conservatives will not be helped much by positive economic data showing that the UK economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter of 2024, thanks to stronger household spending. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also revised GDP upwards from 0.6% to 0.7%, the fastest quarterly growth since the end of 2021 and ending last year’s technical recession.

According to the Financial Times, this positive result makes the British economy the best among the G7 countries. Capital Economics economist Paul Dales told the Financial Times that “the next British prime minister will benefit from a stronger economic recovery than originally forecasted.”

And while the verbal clashes between rival political leaders are becoming increasingly heated, the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has also made a strong call for “the next government” to “improve economic and trade relations with the European Union to stimulate economic growth.”

According to Shevon Haviland (pictured), chief executive of the BCC, the current trade plan is “not working” for British businesses. Haviland cited estimates by the Office for Budget Responsibility, Britain’s financial watchdog, that “Britain’s unilateral exit from the EU (Brexit) would cause a 4% long-term decline in the country’s GDP, along with a 15-percent contraction in British foreign trade.”