Poll delivers an interesting snapshot, two months out

The Rev Canon Bob White with representatives of the groups involved in our Christmas campaignh run with churches in Portsmouth - Comfort and Joy

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With less than two months to go to the general election, Portsmouth law firm Coffin Mew has released the results of an intriguing survey.

As it is only a snapshot – it comes from 110 local businesses asked about various issues surrounding the election – it does not claim to provide a definitive picture.

Nevertheless, it does highlight some of the major concerns which business leaders from across our community consider to be most important.

Preparing young people for the workplace takes the top spot, while investment in infrastructure for travel comes in second. Neither of these should be particularly surprising, as they both look to safeguarding business’s futures.

The vote on the EU is less clear and probably more indicative of the wider population. Fifty-one percent of those polled are happy with the current situation, while 49 per cent want the deal with Europe renegotiated.

While Ukip polled third in terms of popularity – not far behind the Lib Dems – it demonstrates why the party’s favourite subject is such a hot topic at this election.

Given the recent voting history in Portsmouth, it is perhaps not surprising to see the Conservatives taking considerably more than half of the votes as the party those polled want in power.

But we should also look at the types of people being polled here. They are perhaps more typically inclined to vote Tory.

Whichever way you slice it though, it doesn’t bode well for Labour – they are lagging way back in fourth. They will certainly have a tough time convincing these figures that, as Cllr John Ferrett, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Portsmouth North, puts it: ‘Labour is still committed to developing a strong economy.’