Business

Miliband bad for business, say bosses

Ed Miliband will not get much joy from the business vote at May’s general election if a new YouGov poll of business leaders is anything to go by.

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Ed Miliband will not get much joy from the business vote at May’s general election if a new YouGov poll of business leaders is anything to go by.

Asked a range of questions about which party would be best for employees, shareholders and customers, the Labour party was outgunned by the Tories on every level.

Asked which party would be best for shareholders, just 11% of businesses said Labour compared with 78% for the Conservatives.

But, less predictably, Labour also failed to register much traction when it comes to staff. Just 21% of respondents said a Labour government would be favourable to the employees of big companies, compared to just under half for the Tories.

“Labour would hope to find more support on being good for the employees and customers of big business,” said Stephen Shakespeare, YouGov's global CEO. “But again, the business leaders we surveyed feel the Tories would be better for both of these groups.”

A previous study of the general public by the same pollster revealed David Cameron 48 points ahead of Ed Miliband on business. That’s despite Labour’s pro-Europe stance and, today, a renewed promise to cap energy bills.

“In recent months, we have heard high-profile business leaders such as Boots CEO Stefano Pessina warning against the prospect of Ed Miliband in Downing Street. What is worrying for the Labour leader is that opinions in the business community are shared by the public,” said Shakespeare.

Polls

The poll also showed businesses are sceptical about Labour’s track record on the economy. Just 18% said they would be good for the economy compared with 61% thinking the opposite. Some 56% said the Tories would be good; 22% bad.

Shakespeare added: “Labour has courted the business community with its pro-Europe stance, but it may well be that old and deep-rooted perceptions are the hardest to change.”

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Miliband bad for business, say bosses

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