Election Special

Tories can count on your vote...but Farage the man PMA readers want a pint with

By Mike Berry

- Last updated on GMT

Tories can count on your vote...but Farage the man PMA readers want a pint with

Related tags: United kingdom independence party, Gordon brown, Uk independence party

The Tories have emerged as the clear winner for those running pubs across the country, according to an exclusive survey of PMA readers.

Publicans have given the Conservatives a resounding thumbs up ahead of the vote on 7 May with more than four in 10 stating they will vote for the party.

The next most popular choice was the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which — perhaps in a nod to leader Nigel Farage’s pub-friendly persona — 19% of respondents said they would vote for. This was followed by the ‘undecideds’ (15%) and Labour (12%).


Pint-supping Farage was named as the party leader most would like a drink with — almost half of respondents said they would have a pint with the UKIP chief, ahead of David Cameron (29%) and Ed Miliband (8%).

The survey painted a grim picture for the prospects of the Liberal Democrats, with just 6% of readers saying they would vote for the party, currently the junior partner in the coalition Government. Only 4% said they would like a pint with leader Nick Clegg.

Best PM

Respondents rated Cameron as the party leader who would be the best Prime Minister for the UK with more than half (57%) endorsing him. Some 20% thought Farage would be best suited for a stint at Number 10 — despite the fact he’s not yet an MP. Labour leader Miliband was favoured by only 13% of respondents.

The survey revealed that licensees are mostly engaged in the political process, with almost all respondents saying they intend to vote in the general election, and seven in 10 claiming they have always voted in the past.

When asked what the most important election issues to them are, the economy came out on top, cited by nine in 10 respondents, followed by health/NHS, immigration and law and order.


In terms of trade-specific issues that licensees want the next government to focus on, a cut in VAT for pubs was the clear winner, something the current Government has consistently ruled out. Business rates reform, further reductions in beer duty, action on utilities and employment costs, and the introduction of minimum pricing for alcohol were all seen as important.


More than half of PMA​ readers (54%) don’t feel that, overall, the Government has been ‘pub-friendly’ in its five years of power, despite introducing a range of measures designed to help the trade; the scrapping of the alcohol duty escalator, a hat-trick of beer duty cuts, support with business rates and employment costs and enhanced planning protection.

The online poll was completed by a self-selecting sample of 367 licensees.

Related topics: Legislation

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Labour & VAT

Posted by Steve Smith,

Nearly all economists have said VAT any higher than 20% would lead to losses in tax collected. It is highly unlikely the Tories would raise it. They should have ruled it out.

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Labour and VAT

Posted by David Pott,

Labour didn't do us any favours with their VAT policy. Browne managed to give us an additional duty increase to ensure we didn't benefit from the 15% VAT reduction which wasn't dropped when the rate returned to 17.5%. The 20% VAT rate was on the cards and widely predicted from the time of the ineffective 15% exercise.
The coalition may not have helped pubs as much as we'd all have liked, but it was a hell of a lot better than it would have been under pub hating 'new' Labour.

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VAT - the Tory tax of choice

Posted by david,

Sound point Dale. Not only is the reported support from licensees for the Tories surprising given their broken promises on VAT, but totally incongruous when licensees say a reduction in VAT for pubs is their priority yet which has been consistently ruled out by this Government.

Anyone who witnessed the orchestrated refusal by Osborne, May and Cameron to rule out a rise in VAT after the election must surely be able to work out what's coming.

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