The leaders of the UK's major political parties have just been ranked by small businesses in order of their employability. Can you guess who came bottom? No you’re wrong :-)
Share this article
Two days before the general election and small business owners have already elected their champion. That is, the politician they would be most likely to hand a job to if they came knocking on the door.
The figures came in a survey by Crunch Accounting of 500 freelancers and small businesses across the UK between 27 April and 1 May 2015.
The first and possibly the most worrying thing to note about the results is that the biggest section of small business bosses answered “none of the above” when asked who they would recruit. Some 27% said they would reject all candidates without so much as a “we’ll keep your CV on file”.
Fairly predictably, the leaders of the two biggest parties won the lion’s share of the rest of the vote. David Cameron was given the nod by 22% of voters and Ed Miliband got a slightly less impressive 13%.
Nicola Sturgeon’s impressive debating performances earned her 12% of the vote – presumably small businesses think she can justify a senior communications job, while Nick Clegg sneaked in with 11%, possibly encumbered by questions over his chin having caved in on tuition fees.
Nigel Farage’s solid City career won him a few votes and he gained a nearly 10% share – would he take 10% of the popular vote right now? – while just 4% said they would employ the Green Party’s Natalie Bennett.
Last on the list was poor old Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru, with just a 2% share – what did she ever do to you?
Who is the best guardian of the self-employed?
Respondents were also asked which party best understood the needs of freelancers and the self-employed. Unsurprisingly, the results largely echoed the previous answers, with the Conservatives and Labour out in front.
Tellingly, though, the third biggest section of respondents (18%) said none of the parties understood their needs. Nigel Farage’s claim that UKIP is natural party of small business has largely fallen on deaf ears; only 8% agreed.
Darren Fell, MD of Crunch Accounting, the company that conducted the survey, said: “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.”
The UK has more than 5 million businesses, the vast majority of which are freelancers and small and medium-sized businesses.