Posted: Mon 5th Jun 2017
As Britain prepares to go to the polls this week, new research has revealed the top constituencies where the votes of self-employed individuals could swing the vote.
Self-employment group IPSE analysed consistency data and Office of National Statistics population figures to show the marginal seats with the highest proportion of self-employed people and where they will have the biggest voice in Thursday's General Election.
The average percentage of self-employed individuals is 15% but in many areas that proportion is much higher.
At 35.5% of the local population, St Ives, where Conservative Derek Thomas won the last election with a 2459 majority, is the biggest.
To find out where the self-employed have the biggest influence, IPSE took all the constituencies with an above-average proportion of self-employed people and then ordered them by their majorities.
With a self-employed population of 19.8% and a majority of just 27 for Conservative MP Bryon Davis, Gower is the area where the self-employed could have the biggest voice.
Lorence Nye, economic policy adviser at IPSE, said: "The self-employed are among the most engaged and policy-sensitive of all demographics.
"After all, being deeply financially and personally invested in their businesses, the self-employed feel the effects of policies - particularly economic ones - more sharply than others."
Nye pointed to evidence from the last General Election.
In 2015, Ed Miliband made a direct appeal to the self-employed and despite losing overall, Labour won seats from the Tories in London constituencies with high self-employment, such as Ealing, Brentford and Ilford.
"It will most likely have played a role in Rupa Huq, for example, turning over a lead of 3,716 in Ealing Central and Acton," Nye added.
"She now holds a majority of just 274, and with the self-employed making up more than a quarter of her constituency's workforce, she may find it very useful to target those 13,000+ voters.
"In fact, it may be the best chance to secure her seat in what promises to be a very close race."
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