Book trade turns yellow for Nick Clegg
06.05.10 | Benedicte Page
The book trade has voted for the Liberal Democrats, The Bookseller’s online exit poll has revealed. A total of 38% of the online respondents (126 in total) said they have placed their vote for the Lib Dems, with Labour in second position on 32% and the Conservatives third with 27%. Of the trade’s fringe vote 1.5% has gone for the Green Party, with 1% opting for UKIP and 0.5% for the Monster Raving Loony Party. There were no votes for the BNP.
Voting was mixed across all elements of the trade – publishers, booksellers, agents, authors and other – with no one grouping showing any distinct political bias. However, when asked if their voting intentions matched what they thought was best for the book trade, the differing views suggested that there some evidence of tactical voting. One voter said the best result would be a “hung Parliament with Labour majority so we keep investment in arts and education at a max”.
The big political issues for the trade were surprisingly uniform across supporters of all the three main political parties. The most frequently cited issue was keeping VAT off books, closely followed by removing VAT from e-books. Protecting funding for libraries and more investment in early years literacy, revision or repeal of the Digital Economy Act and protection for copyright were also cited across all party supporters, while a small number of supporters of all the three main political parties also raised the issue of re-establishing the Net Book Agreement.
Liberal Democrat and Labour supporters were particularly keen on libel reform, while Conservative voters were especially concerned to have no increase in National Insurance payments and for small businesses to be able to get easier loans. Support for independent bookshops and grants for writers also get an airing on the book trade’s political wishlist.
Among the more colourful suggestions for government policy were “no more books by Tories” and “tighten up copyright and kick Google in the balls”.