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It’s not just pensioners. Another crucial pillar of Conservative support crumbles before Theresa May’s eyes

may GE2017

It’s not just older people. Another crucial pillar of Conservative support appears to be crumbling before Theresa May’s eyes. The Conservatives position themselves as the party of business. But Britain’s small businesses have overwhelmingly rejected the Conservative manifesto, according to The Telegraph’s business tracker.

First, a number of older Conservative supporters deserted the party after the near-universally hated Dementia Tax. Now, businesses seem to be following suit.

Findings

An analysis of the business response on social media, carried out by Impact Social for The Telegraph, shows the “overwhelming” majority of small businesses aren’t feeling the Conservative manifesto. 51% showed a negative reaction, while 41% were neutral. Just 8% had a positive response.

The biggest concern was that the manifesto hasn’t been costed, making up 34% of negative comments. By contrast, the Labour Party’s is fully costed.

Federation of Small Businesses

Although, it’s not all doom and gloom for the Conservatives’ manifesto in relation to business. The Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) praised the Conservatives for committing to business rates relief. But Mike Cherry criticised the party for failing to rule out tax hikes on national insurance (NI) for the self-employed.

Correspondingly, the FSB praised Labour for pledging no NI rises for the self-employed. Labour’s plans promise no tax hikes for 95% of UK earners.

Labour and business

Labour has been pitching for the business vote. Chair of Labour Business, Hamish Sandison, wrote in the Huffington Post:

Read on...

Unsurprisingly, most businesses want what every voter wants: better education for a skilled and creative workforce; better healthcare with fewer sick days lost; better roads and public transport to get people to and from work and to deliver products and services; better digital infrastructure and lower energy prices to support the high-tech jobs of the future; and above all, better wages – because low paid and insecure consumers do not buy as many goods and services.

Research from the FSB chimes with Sandison’s analysis. 38% of small businesses surveyed by the FSB viewed investment in infrastructure as a priority in this election.

Another significant finding was that 46% viewed increased support for the self-employed, such as establishing social security, as a primary concern.

According to The Telegraph’s research, the Conservatives are failing to woo small businesses this election. Another crucial area of Conservative support appears to be crumbling. As Labour surges in the polls, we may be in for the biggest political upset since voters elected Clement Attlee’s government after WWII.

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Vote on 8 June

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Featured image via Jim Mattis/Flickr

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