Businesses fail to get message

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The attempts by the three main political parties to get their message across to small businesses in their manifestos last week may be destined for failure, according to a survey published today. Four out of 10 businesses still did not know which party had the best policies for the sector, it said. Half of those questioned did not know which of Labour, the Tories or the Liberal Democrats would be best at cutting red tape.

But the Conservatives were still the party of small businesses, according the Office World quarterly survey, which found the Tories had increased their share of the vote to 43 per cent from 39 per cent. Support for Labour has fallen by one point to 22 per cent, while the Liberal Democrats have eased to 9 per cent from 12 per cent and the Referendum Party moved up to 8 per cent from 5 per cent.