How start-up businesses plan to vote on May 7

In the run up to the General Election, Startups has been polling our readers to find out which party is winning the small business vote…

general election 2015 business graph

For the past five weeks, has been polling small business owners to find out how they plan to vote on May 7.

And we can reveal that with close to 1,500 votes cast and less than a month to go, the Conservatives are steeling ahead, polling 27.5% of readers’ votes so far, while converting some of the waverers in the past week as the graph above clearly shows.

Labour too have recovered after three consecutive weeks in which their share of the vote fell. Since launching our poll, Ed Miliband has managed to secure 18% of the small business vote, but failed to match Labour’s popularity in the first two weeks.

Strikingly, the Liberal Democrats are trailing UKIP voters, with just 3.5% against 9.5% of the total votes since the poll began. However, as the graph shows, UKIP have been haemorrhaging votes falling from a high of 14% in week two to 5% in week five.

This followed ITV’s televised leaders’ debate on April 2, perhaps suggesting Nigel Farage’s views on the EU and immigration (issues with knock-on effects on businesses looking to hire or export) did his general rating more harm than good despite business policy not being a key topic for debate.

The noticeable swing also coincided with the dissolution of parliament and campaigning beginning in earnest, with business owners seemingly plumping for one of the serious contenders.

With more than a third of those surveyed so far undecided there’s still a great deal to play for. And owners looking to make a more considered decision can see what each of the main parties is promising small businesses with our at-a-glance guide.

Each week we’ll give you update to show where each party stands with small businesses and you can tweet to us via @Startupstowers. We’ll share your views, wishes and concerns each week right here. You can also tell us who you plan to vote for and why by emailing us at

Business owners’ likelihood to vote for political parties – total votes cast:

  • Conservatives 27.5%
  • Green 3%
  • Labour 18%
  • Liberal Democrats 3.5%
  • Plaid Cymru 2%
  • SNP 2%
  • UKIP 9.5%
  • Undecided 35%

*Figures have been rounded

general election 2015 piechart


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