Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

The Narrow Divide: New Poll Shows Tight Political Race For SME Votes

38% of SME owners and decision makers intend to vote for Labour this election

National Party identified as having strongest understanding of SME business needs

45% of SMEs believe that the current government deserves to be re-elected

In a major turnaround following nearly a decade of MYOB election polls, Labour is currently the preferred political party of New Zealand’s SMEs, with 38% of SME owners and decision makers intending to vote red in the upcoming General Election, while 35% will vote for National.

The MYOB General Election Snapshot suggests it’s a tight race for these votes, however a marked shift in the voting intentions of SMEs has seen support for National drop from 44% in 2017, while Labour has been buoyed by a substantial rise in support – up from 29% in 2017.

When it comes to the overall split of the party vote by SME owners and decision makers, results of MYOB’s Snapshot revealed:

  • 38% intend to vote Labour
  • 35% intend to vote National
  • 5% intend to vote ACT
  • 3% intend to vote Green
  • 3% intend to vote NZ First
  • 11% don’t know who they’ll vote for

While the proportion of the votes for National is down, the party has the most consistent support from its base with 83% of those intending to vote National this election having also voted for the party in 2017.

In comparison, ACT has seen a significant rise in support, with 86% of those SMEs intending to vote for the party this year having voted for a different party in the 2017 election. Meanwhile, the Greens have the largest proportion of first-time SME voters (9%).

MYOB New Zealand Country Manager, Ingrid Cronin-Knight, explains that the recent performance of the Labour-led Government in managing the COVID-19 crisis has seen the gap between the major political parties tighten.

“This is the fourth time we’ve polled SMEs in the run up to a New Zealand General Election and we haven’t seen results this close previously, nor have we seen such figures of support for Labour by business,” says Ingrid.

“It’s likely that this sentiment toward the current Government has been generated by the recent support offered to SMEs to help them cope and survive in extraordinary circumstances. What counts most now are the initiatives and types of ongoing support these businesses will be offered as we continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and seek to drive economic recovery.”

Governing opinions

The Snapshot results indicate that 45% of SMEs believe the current Government deserves to be re-elected, while 37% think it is time for a change.

Those working in the construction and trades industry or the manufacturing and wholesale sectors, were more likely to believe it was time for a change. Professional services, retail and hospitality, and transport and storage SMEs were mostly of the opinion that the current Government should be re-elected.


While support amongst New Zealand’s SMEs for Labour has grown, National is still considered the political party that best understands business. Of those surveyed, 37% said National has a greater understanding of their business needs compared to 33% who said Labour.

Despite National maintaining a lead here, the gap has tightened since MYOB’s Business Monitor survey in March, with SMEs now having more confidence in Labour. Then, over half (56%) of SME owners and decision makers said that National was the party best for helping business, compared to just 19% who said Labour.

Results also confirmed that SMEs’ voting intentions for this upcoming election were unlikely to be influenced by the choice of leader, but more by the party policies. Just a quarter (26%) of respondents admitted they put personality over policy when it comes to making their voting choice.

Key business concerns for SMEs

Despite their voting intentions and opinions on which party should lead us through this next stage of the pandemic response only 20% of SME owners and decision makers believe that the issues affecting small businesses will receive sufficient attention in this election campaign, while 47% believe some attention will be paid, but not enough.

Asked what their top three business concerns were over the next 12 months:

  • 45% of SMEs said the ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19
  • 30% of SMEs said the levels of customer demand and consumer confidence
  • 24% of SMEs said their ability to continue to operate

“As we have seen throughout our nation’s experience with COVID-19, SMEs are a vital part of New Zealand’s business landscape, supporting our economy and working tirelessly to keep Kiwis employed and communities thriving,” says Ingrid Cronin-Knight.

“We need to make sure that we address the concerns of these businesses to give them every opportunity to not only survive, but flourish.

“In the lead up to the election, it’s important that our SMEs have a clear understanding of the policy agenda of each party and how these will address the needs of their business,” says Ingrid.

Focuses for the future

In the longer term, SMEs have a clear picture of what they’d like to see the next Government prioritise.

Almost half (47%) said they’d like to see more job creation (and support for employment growth), 31% would like simpler tax laws and compliance regulations, 28% want to see a reduction in the company tax rate and the same proportion would also like the Government to prioritise faster completion of major roading networks. Interestingly, 22% would like to see the Government invest in mental health and wellbeing initiatives specific to business.

“Our research results paint an interesting picture when it comes to how votes may be split by SME owners and decision makers on election day, and our parliamentary representatives have an increasingly challenging task of making their case to around 500,000 SMEs across the country. What’s evident, however, is that it will take not only the right vision, but concrete, practical policy to convince them,” says Ingrid.

Key Findings:

2020 General Election voting intentions by sector

  • Construction – National (49%)
  • Agribusiness – National (35%); 35% were also undecided
  • Manufacturing and Wholesale – National (56%)
  • Transport and storage – Labour (53%)
  • Retail and Hospitality – Labour (43%)
  • Professional services – Labour (36%)

MYOB General Election Snapshot - methodology

The MYOB General Election Survey was conducted using Pure Profile’s business panel. In total, 401 SME decision makers were surveyed from employing businesses in New Zealand. The June survey was conducted online from July 20th – 24th 2020.

About MYOB

MYOB is a leading business platform with a core purpose of helping more businesses in New Zealand and Australia start, survive and succeed. At the heart of MYOB is a customer base of 1.2 million businesses and a network of more than 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and consultants, for whom MYOB delivers end-to-end business and accounting solutions. MYOB operates across four key segments: Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), Enterprise, Financial Services and Practice. For more information visit myob.com or follow @MYOB on Twitter.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Auckland Transport: Successful Bridge Repair Opens Two Additional Lanes To Traffic

The opening of two additional lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge this morning will help relieve some motorway congestion for motorists heading home to the North Shore tonight. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics New Zealand: COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2 percent in the June 2020 quarter, the largest quarterly fall recorded since the current series began in 1987, as the COVID-19 restrictions in place through the quarter impacted economic activity, Stats NZ said ... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate

A group of scientists and experts produced the first comprehensive global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas essential for biodiversity and climate resilience, totaling 50.4% of the Earth's land. The report was published in Science Advances ... More>>

ALSO:

MPI: Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an independent review of the assurances it receives for the safe transport of livestock by sea. MPI Director-General Ray Smith says Mike Heron QC has been appointed to lead the review, which is expected ... More>>

ALSO:


Computers: New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand

COVID-19 had large impacts on demand for PCs as businesses prepared for lockdowns by purchasing notebooks to mobilise their workforce. In the second quarter of 2020, New Zealand's Traditional PC market experienced a 39.7% year-on-year (YoY) growth ... More>>

ALSO:


University Of Auckland: Whale-Watching By Satellite – Follow Their Travels Online

Scientists have successfully attached satellite tracking tags to six New Zealand southern right whales, or tohorā, and are inviting the public to follow the whales’ travels online. Part of a major research project involving the University of Auckland ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Kiwibank Admits System Failures And Agrees To Pay Customers $5.2 Million

Kiwibank has entered into a settlement agreement with the Commerce Commission after reporting that it failed to have in place robust home loan variation disclosure policies, procedures and systems. In a settlement dated 27 August 2020, Kiwibank admitted that ... More>>

Ministry of Health: Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed

Physical distancing requirements on public transport have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health to determine whether they are still required at Alert Level 2 (or below). The Ministry’s assessment is that mandatory face covering and individuals tracking ... More>>

ALSO:

NZHIA: New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs

A new report says a fully enabled hemp industry could generate $2 billion in income for New Zealand by 2030, while also creating thousands of new jobs. Written by industry strategist Dr Nick Marsh, the report has prompted calls from the New Zealand Hemp ... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs

About one in 14 workers say they expect to lose their job or business by mid-2021, Stats NZ said today. A survey of employed people in the June 2020 quarter showed 7 percent felt there was a high or almost certain chance of losing their job or business ... More>>

ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast: NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain

August lockdown estimated to have shaved 8% off NZ’s weekly GDP, and 0.5% off annual GDP Economy now expected to shrink 5% (year-on-year) by end of 2020 Unemployment rate now expected to peak at 7.2% The latest ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast is less ... More>>

ALSO: