27% of SME owners wouldn’t employ any of the election candidates

More than a quarter of small business leaders said they would not hire any of the political party leaders if they applied for a position in their company, according to a survey by Crunch Accounting.

The poll* of British freelancers and micro-businesses by Crunch Accounting asked which party leader, if any, they would offer a job. The resounding response was none, with 27% of business owners saying they wouldn’t choose to employ any of the candidates.

voting election

Among those who would give the political leaders a chance, 22% said they would hire David Cameron and 13% Ed Miliband. The SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon narrowly took third place with 12%, while Nick Clegg would be offered a position by just 11% of those surveyed.

Small business owners and freelancers had even less faith in the remaining candidates. Fewer than one in 10 said they would offer Nigel Farage a job, while just 4% would employ the Green Party’s Natalie Bennett and 2% chose Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru.

The survey also asked business decision makes which party best understands the needs of SMEs and the self-employed. The Conservatives took the lead with a third of votes (32%), while Labour took a quarter (25%). Around a fifth (18%) felt none of the parties understood their needs, while one in 10 said the Liberal Democrats had their best interests at heart.

Despite Nigel Farage calling UKIP the party of small business, just 8% of those surveyed said his party represented their interests. The SNP earned just 2% of SME votes, despite 12% of business owners giving the thumbs up to Nicola Sturgeon as a potential employee.

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 survey by Crunch Accounting polled 500 freelancers and microbusinesses across the UK between 27 April and 1 May 2015. Full results below:

If the following candidates applied for a job in your company, who, if any, do you think you would employ first?

  • I wouldn’t employ any of them – 27%
  • David Cameron – 22%
  • Ed Miliband – 13%
  • Nicola Sturgeon – 12%
  • Nick Clegg – 11%
  • Nigel Farage – 9%
  • Natalie Bennett – 4%
  • Leanne Wood – 2%

Which political party do you believe best understands the needs of micro businesses and the self-employed?

  • Conservative – 32%
  • Labour – 25%
  • None of them – 18%
  • Liberal Democrats – 10%
  • UKIP – 8%
  • Greens – 4%
  • SNP – 2%
  • Plaid Cymru – 1%

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