Small business entrepreneurs are likely to abandon the Labour party in the next general election because a series of controversial measures has caused them to lose faith in the Government, reveals a recent survey.
According to contractor website, Shout99, which polled the voting intentions of 1,049 business people (owners and /or managers of small enterprises) around the UK, half of those who voted "new" Labour in 1997, will not do so again.
The research also reveals that 18 per cent of voters plan to adopt a "tactical approach" when polling time comes, and will deliberately support the party most likely to unseat Labour's candidate.
Almost a quarter of the respondents, who currently support an opposition party, will continue to do so says the survey, while a mere one per cent of respondents intend to remain loyal to Tony Blair's party, despite its unpopular policies towards small businesses, such as IR35.
Andy White, editor of Shout99, believes the findings confirm what many in the business world have long suspected. "These results send a very clear message to the Government that it has lost significant amounts of support in key areas," he says. "What is most surprising is that half of the people voted Labour last time. They put their faith in a party they believed would support them and create a climate for small businesses to flourish. Now, three years later, they feel let down and have suffered as their Government introduces a succession of measures which will cripple the entrepreneur."
Other contractors expressed harsher sentiments during the on-line survey. "In just three years this Government has shown itself for what it is: arrogant, incompetent, tax mad, non-consultative and ideology driven," wrote one respondent.
"I was taken in completely by Tony Blair's pre-election speeches, so I made a point of voting new Labour," explained another. "I wish I hadn't done that. Now I see the lies, lies and more lies. I will put my cross elsewhere next time."