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With just a matter of hours left to woo the nation, leaders of Britain’s political parties are battling it out to win over the crowds with some last ditch campaigning. But if any of them were to lose their seat at the General Election – a distinct possibility for at least one leader – they may have trouble finding alternative employment with one of the UK’s many SMEs.
According to new research from Crunch Accounting, over a quarter (27%) of British freelancers and small business owners would be unwilling to hire any of the party leaders, let alone let them govern the country. However, there was at least some consolation for David Cameron, with 22% of respondents commending the Prime Minister’s CV. Meanwhile, Labour leader Ed Miliband was left lagging behind on 13%.
And while Nicola Sturgeon may be winning over voters, she failed to wow business leaders, narrowly scooping third place with 12%, just ahead of Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg who impressed a mere 11% of business owners. Of course, we can’t confirm how many of these were students, or have children who are currently at university.
‘What of the other contenders?’ we hear you ask. Well, despite UKIP being dubbed the party of small business by Nigel Farage himself, less than one in ten SME leaders said they would employ him. Even less would hire Natalie Bennett, with a mere 4% of small businesses saying they would happily give the Green Party leader a job. And prospects looked particularly slim for poor old Leanne Wood, the leader of Plaid Cymru, who, with a lowly 2% of the vote, came out bottom of the pile.
The results found could be an indicator on which party holds the hearts of business leaders in the UK. Respondents were also asked which party leader best understands the wants and needs of SMEs and self-employed workers. But worryingly, a fifth of those surveyed felt that none of the parties understand the true needs of small businesses.
“With the election just a few days away, politicians would do well to take notice of these results,” warned Darren Fell, MD of Crunch Accounting. “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.”
It’s safe to say it’s not just their election prospects the party leaders should be worried about.