Tony Abbott continues to be preferred prime minister despite the Labor leadership spill, according to a SmartCompany poll.
The anonymous, online poll was open to all SmartCompany readers yesterday, with 1023 respondents.
Kevin Rudd was preferred as Labor leader over Julia Gillard by 54% to 46%.
But Opposition Leader Tony Abbott continues to be preferred prime minister over Rudd, with 74% preferring Abbott, while only 26% wanted Rudd in the top job.
Of those surveyed, 71% plan to vote for the Coalition at the election, 17% Labor, 5% the Greens and 8% other.
This does represent an increase in Labor’s vote from a poll conducted by SmartCompany in February this year which found 82% planned to vote for the Coalition, compared to just 13% who pledged their support for Labor and 5% who said they would vote for the Greens.
But the poll still represents the continuation of a decline in support for Labor among SMEs.
Three years ago a similar SmartCompany poll found 28% would vote for Labor, while in 2007 that figure was as high as 35%.
Rudd has characterised the leadership spill as being for the good of the Labor Party but 76% of respondents said it made them feel less favourable towards Labor.
The majority of SMEs (79%) said the Coalition had the best policies for small business with its pledges to rescind the carbon tax, extend unfair contract protections for small business and conduct a “root and branch” review of competition policy.
Of those surveyed, 39% said the election would have some impact on their business, followed by 22% who said it would have a big impact, 21% who said it would have a small impact and 18% who said it would have no impact at all.
SMEs were clear in the big issues they want the political parties to address before the election with the economy and tax topping the list.
“The economy, the economy, and the economy,” said one reader.
“Help with small business viability, GST threshold removal and, in fact, extra tax if buying comparable products for direct importation,” said another.
They were also scathing of the latest leadership changes.
“We want to vote for our prime minister, not play swapsies,” one reader said.
“I am so, so, so, over the shambolic circus we are still being forced to endure. Election day can’t come fast enough,” said another.