Small business voting plans: One in four SMEs has no confidence in any political party

By Lucy Ingham

Despite attempts by all of the leading UK political parties to lure small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) into making them the focus of their voting plans, just below a quarter of SMEs have no confidence that any party will bring business benefits.

This is according to a survey of over 2,000 self-employed business owners by FreeAgent, the details of which have been released today.

It found that 23.3% felt no party evoked business confidence. There was also no clear winner when it came to small business voting plans, with the Conservatives only very narrowly winning, with 30.9% compared to Labour’s 30.5%.

The Liberal Democrats and Green Party both failed to turn business heads, netting 8.6% and 6.8% respectively.

Small business voting plans show party attempts netting lacklustre results

With the country set to go the polls tomorrow, businesses, and particularly small businesses, have been a key topic on the campaign agenda, with all parties attempting to win over such voters with a slew of policies.

Labour has attempted to cement small business voting plans with a new Business Development Agency that would serve as a “one-stop shop” for small businesses, as well as a £250bn National Investment Bank and a focus on contracting small businesses for government work.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, have announced cuts to the Job Tax and Business rates, as well as a commitment not to raise National Insurance for the self-employed, winning over the backing of the Federation of Small Businesses.

However, today’s poll suggests these attempts have not won over many – and Brexit may be a reason. 35% have no confidence Brexit will ever happen and 41% would like to see it cancelled altogether.

“Politics is never clear cut, but at this time in particular, with Brexit in the limelight, we are in a true era of uncertainty. The pensive attitude that reigns amongst small business owners has been clearly revealed by our findings that 1 in 4 feel of them feel no allegiance to any party,” said Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent.

“Beyond this, party confidence that does exist is split almost down the middle between Conservative and Labour, indicating that while both have desirable policies, neither are concrete enough to attract a significant percentage of small business owners.”

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