Nicola Sturgeon top choice for Prime Minister among Scottish SMEs

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Nicola Sturgeon is the preferred candidate for the next UK prime minister, according to a new poll of Scottish smaller businesses.

The First Minister has increased her popularity among Scots small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with 21 per cent naming Sturgeon as their top pick for the role in the latest Citibase Business Confidence index.

21 per cent of Scottish small businesses named Nicola Sturgeon as their top pick for next Prime Minister. Picture: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images

21 per cent of Scottish small businesses named Nicola Sturgeon as their top pick for next Prime Minister. Picture: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images

This represents an increase of 10 percentage points from the previous quarter.

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The index indicated that businesses were unimpressed with the way the UK’s negotiations to leave the EU are proceeding, with 50 per cent of Scottish firms surveyed saying they would like to see a snap general election called after Brexit.

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The quarterly index from the flexible office space provider also revealed that SMEs in Scotland are less optimistic than their counterparts elsewhere in the UK after Brexit has taken place.

Just under half (46 per cent) of respondents in Scotland forecast revenues to rise or stay the same once the UK has exited the European Union, compared to the nationwide average of 65 per cent, according to the study.