News

Will business vote Conservative?

2 min read

05 May 2010

One day to go until the general election and the polls show a shift in the business vote. Plus: Michael Portillo's personal prediction for the result.

The YouGov poll out today says that 50 per cent of businesses believe a Conservative victory in tomorrow’s election would encourage greater investment among businesses; only six per cent (of the 600 businesses polled) favour a Labour victory. Notably, one-third of businesses don’t believe the election outcome will have a significant impact on investment.

For those favouring the Tories, the key swing factor is the plan to ditch the National Insurance rise; 27 per cent of respondents say job cuts are likely if the “tax on jobs” is brought in.

The Conservatives don’t have it all their way. Labour business minister Pat McFadden argues that Tory plans to cut capital allowances for plant and machinery will hit businesses (especially manufacturing) just as hard as NIC rises: “I believe there’s enormous potential for the kind of manufacturers in my constituency in the shift to low carbon but that will require investment in new plant and machinery. We have doubled the annual investment allowance to £100,000 and we believe in capital allowances. The Conservatives are committed to abolishing them.”

Have you switched your likely vote as a result of the campaign? Post your comments below.

What swings your decision – policies that affect you personally, or your business? Post your comments below.

Are you planning to stay up all night to watch the results come in? Post your comments below. I’m tempted, if only by the prospect of a Michael Portillo moment in Ed Balls’ seat in Normanton, Yorkshire.

By the way (name drop alert!), I was talking to Michael Portillo himself on the phone this morning. Ever the optimist, he’s betting on a small minority Conservative government being elected.

Only 36 hours to go…