West Midlands businesses cast their vote…
More that two thirds of West Midlands owner-managed businesses want to see an outright Conservative win in next week’s General Election.
Of the alternative outcomes, the next biggest preference is for a continuation of the Tory/Lib-Dem coalition.
These are among the findings of an independent 24-hours survey of more than 300 Westcountry owner-managed businesses, conducted by Top 40 accountants, Bishop Fleming, which has offices in Worcester, Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, Torquay, and Truro.
Asked what would be the best outcome of the election for their business, 64% opted for an outright Conservative majority. By far the biggest “second preference” (16%) was for a Tory/Lib-Dem coalition.
Only 8.5% favoured an outright Labour win, while almost as many (7%) would like to see a Tory/UKIP coalition. Other options won less than 3% support.
“This result is backed up by responses to our question about which party best understands what businesses need”, said Matthew Lee, Managing Partner of Bishop Fleming.
79% of respondents said that the Conservatives had persuaded them that they have the best understanding of the needs of business, compared to just 8% for the Lib-Dems, 7% for Labour, 3.5% for UKIP, and 2% for the Greens.
“Businesses do not get a vote at the election – despite providing the nation’s economic wealth – so we ran this 24-hour survey to give them a voice”, said Bishop Fleming’s Managing Partner.
Respondents were also asked to identify the biggest election issue for their business.
The biggest number (25.5%) cited taxation promises and threats, while 17% were most concerned about uncertainties created by talk of an EU referendum. Plans for the minimum wage and living wage took third place (11%).
“With less than a week to go before polling day, I hope that the parties will study these views from Westcountry owner-managed businesses”, said Mr Lee. Almost 40 of our respondents took the time to specify the issue that matters most to their business, with economic stability being the most common theme”, he added.
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