With six days to go until the election a British Baker poll has placed the Conservatives out in front, commanding 48% of the vote.
UKIP comfortably comes second with 24% while Labour trails with 14%. The Green Party is close behind with 12%, while 2% of bakers remain undecided.
BBC’s online poll tells a different story, however, as Labour leads by a nose with 33% of the vote in comparison to the Conservatives’ 31%. The traditional two-party race seems to be on once again, with the two front-runners switching between first and second place over the duration of the poll.
BBC’s poll puts UKIP third with 17% of the vote, followed by the Liberal Democrats with 8%, the Green Party with 6% and a further 6% who backed other, smaller parties.
British Baker spoke to a cross-section of key players in the baking industry to find out what the main fears are ahead of one of the most uncertain elections in Britain.
Mike Holling, executive director of the Craft Bakers’ Association, said: “Whoever comes into power needs to reduce the burden of regulations on small businesses.” He also wants to see a government that focuses on education and quality training, while keeping minimum wage at a manageable level for small businesses.
Gordon Polson, director of the Federation of Bakers, said that food export figures are good and it shows that ministerial interest in that avenue is growing - a positive fact for bakers and other food businesses.
However, Chris Ormrod, managing director of Ministry of Cake, displayed concern across many areas from minimum wage to “onerous” business costs and increased taxation. He said: “None of the parties has a really clear business footprint. We don’t have anybody who really understands the challenges of running a small business in the UK.”
For more views from the baking industry on the iminent election, see the 1 May issue of British Baker magazine.