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UK Business Backs Cameron Ahead of General Election

Independent research published today by CNBC, the leading business and financial news channel, reveals the majority of business leaders in the UK are backing Conservative economic policy ahead of the General Election.

The research, conducted on behalf of CNBC by BDRC Continental, assessed the opinions of small and big businesses immediately prior to the start of the election campaign. It reveals the following:

‘Cutting spending and dealing with deficit immediately after the election’ is the best economic policy to tackle UK deficit (62%)George Osborne is the most popular choice (31%) for Chancellor, followed by Kenneth Clarke, Vince Cable, and then Alistair DarlingBetter to raise corporation tax than National Insurance Cameron is clear winner as the party leader most focused on business interests with 64% of the vote, compared to just 24% who favour Gordon BrownDarling’s pre-election budget is a loser for UK businesses.

The full research findings will be reviewed and debated live and exclusively on CNBC’s Strictly Money at 11am on Tuesday 6th April.

Key findings of CNBC’s first wave of election research include:

On which leader has the best understanding of protecting and promoting the business interests of Britain?

David Cameron is the one horse winner with 64% of business leaders behind him, compared to Gordon Brown with just 24% of votes and Nick Clegg with 9%.

On how the next government should raise money? (respondents able to give more than one answer)

Increasing corporate tax (38%), increasing income tax (29%) and increasing VAT (36%) are the most favoured way of raising money, with just 8% in favour of increasing National Insurance.

On who would make the best Chancellor in the next government?

Osborne is the business leaders’ favourite with 31% of the vote, followed by Clarke (25%), Cable (20%), Darling (19%) and Balls with just 5% of voters behind him.

And, finally, the verdict on Darling’s pre-election budget

50% of businesses say Darling’s budget would not stimulate the economy (10% said it would) Only 13% believed that Darling’s budget would drive business performance 53% say it would not help raise UK employment 52% say it would not encourage Bank leading to UK businesses.

A second wave of research has been commissioned by CNBC to track business community opinion mid-way through the election campaign.

Barbara Stelzner, VP, News & Programming EMEA at CNBC, says: “This election is critical for the future prosperity of UK business and the stability of the economy. CNBC is at the very heart of the business community and we have undertaken this research to track business leaders’ opinion at the very start of the election campaign and to assess any change of opinion as the parties continue their political electioneering.”

Vicky Whiting, BDRC Continental, says: “These research results not only highlight the lack of confidence in Darling’s pre-Election budget amongst businesses, but also that George Osborne is not as strongly endorsed as Chancellor as David Cameron is as leader. At this stage, none of the potential candidates for Chancellor are preferred by a majority of businesses.”

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