SME owners not impressed by skills of politicians

More than a quarter of small business leaders say they would not hire any of the political party leaders if they applied for a position in their company.

The poll of British freelancers and microbusinesses by Crunch Accounting asked which party leader, if any, they would offer a job. The resounding response was none, with 27 per cent of business owners saying they wouldn’t choose to employ any of the candidates.

Among those who would give the political leaders a chance, 22 per cent say they would hire David Cameron and 13 per cent Ed Miliband.

The SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon narrowly took third place with 12 per cent, while Nick Clegg would be offered a position by just 11 per cent of those surveyed.

Small business owners and freelancers had even less faith in the remaining candidates. Fewer than one in ten say they would offer Nigel Farage a job, while just 4 per cent would employ the Green Party’s Natalie Bennett and 2 per cent chose Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru.

The survey also asked business decision makes which party best understands the needs of SMEs and the self-employed. The Conservatives took the lead with a third of votes (32 per cent), while Labour took a quarter (25 per cent).

Around a fifth (18 per cent) feel none of the parties understood their needs, while one in ten said the Liberal Democrats had their best interests at heart.

Despite Nigel Farage calling UKIP the party of small business, just 8 per cent of those surveyed said his party represented their interests. The SNP earned just 2 per cent of SME votes, despite 12 per cent of business owners giving the thumbs up to Nicola Sturgeon as a potential employee.

Darren Fell, managing director of Crunch Accounting says, ‘With the election just a few days away, politicians would do well to take notice of these results. Whether they’re up to the job or not, they are clearly not coming across as credible to the small business and freelance community and that should be of huge concern to them.

‘As an online accountancy firm we deal with the needs of thousands of freelancers and small business owners on a daily basis, and the message that comes through loud and clear is that politicians need to pay more attention to their needs – after all they are the lifeblood of Britain’s economy.’

Further reading on the election

Ben Lobel

Delphine Hintz

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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