Majority of small business owners could still be swayed on election vote – poll

More than half of small business owners could yet change their mind on who to vote for in the upcoming General Election, according to polling.

A survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that 96% of small business owners and self-employed people intend to vote, but a majority are still open to more than one party.

About 20% of respondents said they are undecided on which party they will choose, while a further 33% said they already have a preference but could still change their mind.

The research found that 90% of owners are worried business taxes would rise under the next government, while 92% are worried the costs of employing people will go up.

Meanwhile, 53% said they are concerned about small business energy costs over the next five years, and 61% are worried about the level of inflation over the next five years.

Tina McKenzie, policy chair at the FSB, said: “Small business owners and the self-employed are a shrewd and motivated part of the electorate.

“They’re used to weighing up competing offers when running their businesses, and it’s clear from our research that when it comes to the election they’re looking for which of the parties has the most compelling pro-small business offer.

“Small businesses are the key to securing economic recovery, driving innovation, and creating jobs in all parts of the UK.

“Our small business manifesto sets out the measures needed to create the conditions for that to happen, many of which do not involve additional spending.

“We’re looking to all of those seeking to form the next government to show their commitment to the millions of hard-working voters who run their own businesses, including through a Small Business Act so we have new legislation to protect small businesses on crucial issues such as late payment.”

It comes as the Labour Party continued to enjoy a comfortable lead in polls of the general public this week.

A poll by Ipsos, carried out by telephone from Friday May 31 to Tuesday June 4 among 1,014 British adults, puts Labour 20 percentage points ahead of the Conservatives.

Labour’s claims to economic credibility received a boost last month with a letter signed by 121 senior business figures including chef Tom Kerridge and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales in The Times.