Poll results: Is Labour’s industrial strategy a hit or a miss?

Labour's industrial strategy, which includes significant expansion of renewables to decarbonise the grid by 2030, was a resounding 'Hit' for nearly two-thirds of readers who took part in our Sept 27-Oct 4 Poll.

The Poll took place between Sept 27-Oct 4, 2022 and received 308 votes -

Labour was no doubt hoping to make big noises with the announcement of its new industrial strategy at the first day of its party conference on Monday September 26. It’s unclear whether Kwasi Kwarteng’s ‘fiscal event’ of the previous Friday was intended to spook the markets in a manner that would overshadow any news from Starmer and his front bench, but as Labour delivered its plans for a greener future, Sterling’s decline had become the only story in town.

Events, as they say, dear boy. Regardless of the muted reception Labour’s industrial strategy inevitably received as the pound imploded in real-time, there was plenty of meat in the details. £8bn to be co-invested with private companies in the low-carbon economy as part of a ‘National Wealth Fund’. According to Labour, this would give taxpayers an ongoing financial stake in green projects including:

  • eight new battery factories
  • six clean steel plants
  • nine renewable-ready ports
  • a hydrogen electrolyser plant
  • net zero clusters

"What you will see in your town, in your city, under Labour is a sight we have not seen often enough in our country,” said shadow chancellor Rachel reeves.

"Cranes going up, shovels in the ground. The sounds and sights of the future arriving. Secure, skilled jobs for plumbers, electricians and joiners, for designers, scientists and engineers.”

The £8bn is part of a wider £28bn borrowing package to finance a ‘Green New Deal’ designed to help decarbonise the UK’s electricity system by 2030 and ultimately make the country a net exporter of clean energy. It’s a target that requires significant ramping up of both renewables and nuclear energy: expanding floating offshore wind and quadrupling the existing offshore wind capacity, doubling onshore wind capacity, and tripling existing solar power. It is also reliant on the completion of Hinkley C and Sizewell C, as well as the rollout of SMRs.  

In stark contrast to the newly installed Conservative leadership, Starmer has also pledged to end long-term exploration of oil and gas in the North Sea. 

We asked our readers for their thoughts on Labour’s industrial strategy. Is it a hit or a miss? An oversimplified poll choice perhaps, but we thought we'd leave the nuance for discussions below the line.

Has Labour produced a realistic strategy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments and where you feel Labour has got it right or wrong.