"Once you neutralise this perception bias and compare policies, Labour are offering businesses the best deal"
Last week it was revealed that a letter from 5,000 small business owners pledging support for the Conservatives had not only been orchestrated by the party, but contained several duplicate names. In the same week, The Formations Company carried out an independent survey of business owners, asking them to choose their preferred policy without knowing which party it belonged to.
The Formations Company, which has helped to set up over 250,000 UK businesses, found that although businesses preferred Conservative policies on employment law, pensions, broadband and the high street, they preferred Labour policies on:
· Business support and access to finance
· Devolution to local government and red tape
· Employer NI contributions and minimum wage
· EU and international trade
· Job creation and zero hours contracts
This means that overall, businesses slightly prefer Labour Party policies, contrary to public perception and despite businesses themselves believing they are better aligned to the Conservatives.
The blind survey received over 2,000 online responses from business owners across the UK. They were asked to select their preferred policy from nine key areas for businesses, without knowing which party the policy belonged to.
Overall, 23 per cent of businesses surveyed agreed most frequently with Labour policies, compared to 22 per cent who preferred Conservative policies. Just behind were the Green Party, with 19 per cent preferring their policies. 18 per cent preferred UKIP policies, and 18 per cent preferred Lib Dem.
UKIP’s policies on corporation tax and business rates scored the highest; however, UKIP had the least popular policies in six of the nine business areas including EU and international trade.
Piers Chead, CEO and Founder of The Formations Company, said:
“The results were actually quite surprising. You always hear about the Conservatives being the party of business – but it seems once you neutralise this perception bias and compare policies, Labour are offering businesses the best deal – and that comes from the horse’s mouth.”
Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on TwitterLike this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.