Almost two thirds of voters ‘want to hear business views ahead of election’

New research showed that about 62% of voters said they believe businesses should ‘make their voice heard’ on how the election could affect jobs.

Polling station
Polling station

Almost two thirds of voters have called on businesses to make their voices heard on how the election could affect jobs and investment in the UK.

About 62% of voters said they believe it is important for business to make clear the impact the General Election could have on industry, according to new research from professional services firm Pinsent Masons.

However, only a third of voters (32%) said they consider the views of businesses to be “important” in determining who they vote for in next month’s election.

Voters questioned in the research said they are most interested in the views of small and medium-sized business.

On Brexit, almost a fifth (17%) said the views of businesses have become important to them since the EU referendum.

Most major UK business leaders have chosen to keep their political views private, apart from exceptions such as Wetherspoons founder Tim Martin, who lent his support to Brexit Party candidate Richard Tice earlier this week.

Andrew Henderson, director of public policy at Pinsent Masons, said the voice of business has not been “front and centre” of the election campaign, with many “understandably nervous” about airing their views publicly.

He added: “However, what these findings show is that there is clearly an appetite for business involvement in the political debate, particularly when policy agendas can impact businesses at a local level.

“Looking ahead, there is still room to engage on policy matters.

“The first 100 days of any new administration is critical for businesses who wish to ensure that their perspective is understood, and that concerns are taken on board before manifesto commitments are implemented into hard policy.”

Andrew Hawkins, chairman of Savanta ComRes, said: “Capitalism has had a bad press over the past decade and so businesses may feel on the back foot in communicating what they need from the next government.

“Yet they should not be put off expressing their views about the political choices on offer to voters, many of whom positively want the business voice to be heard, not least to help them make their own choices.”

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