UK SMEs Set to Back Conservatives at Election - But Prefer Cable as Chancellor

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B2Group survey of business community paints picture of voting intentions ahead of May 6th poll

B2Group, a revolutionary business lead generation provider, today revealed the voting intentions of the UK SME community in the biggest survey of its kind carried out ahead of the General Election on May 6.

The Business Census Tracking Study, carried out in association with research specialist Fast.MAP, asked 500 SMEs a series of questions about their preferred political party, Prime Minister, Chancellor and other business issues including tax, rates and National Insurance.

Topline results included:

  • SMEs are generally supporting the Conservative Party: 53% with a turnover of £1m+ and 32% under £1m intend to vote Tory. This compares to 11% (£1m+) and 13% (less than £1m) supporting Labour, and 11% in total swaying towards the Liberal Democrats
  • 44% overall think David Cameron would make the best Prime Minister, compared to 13% each for Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg and 'other'
  • But 26% of respondents in the £1m+ turnover bracket would be pleased to see Lib Dem Vince Cable as Chancellor, as opposed to 24% plumping for George Osborne and 11% Alistair Darling, the current occupant of Number 11
  • There is still a lot to play for though amongst the SME community as just over a quarter (26%) have not yet decided who to vote for, but have stated they will be voting. Just 3% of the SME community say they won't vote
  • Business taxes are expected to rise under a re-elected Labour government and just over half (52%) think that VAT will rise. This is similar to the expectation that National Insurance will rise (54%)
  • Meanwhile, half of SMEs are confident about the current economic climate, with only 28% believing the country will slip back into recession in 2010.

Jeremy Whitaker, CEO of B2Group, said: "As part of our Business Census Tracking Study - the biggest ongoing research project highlighting the attitudes of the UK's business community - we have been able to glean a fascinating insight into the voting intentions of the UK's SME community during this exciting election campaign.

"When viewed collectively, business owners are a vital and influential chunk of the electorate for all the political parties, and we have been able to scrutinise the issues close to their hearts, such as post-election tax rises and general business confidence."


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