New figures suggest that more candidates from the business world are putting themselves forward as prospective MPs because they are disillusioned with enterprise policies.

Research from the Industry and Parliament Trust has shown that the number of potential MPs with 15 or more years of business experience has doubled since 2008 to 14 per cent. However, only 48 per cent of candidates surveyed by research agency ComRes could demonstrate business and financial management experience.

Phil Orford, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business, said: “We should not underestimate the importance of the year ahead. Even when the economy technically comes out of recession, many small businesses will be in greater need of funding in order to keep up with demand.

“That is not in place at the moment and it will be incumbent on all parliamentarians – new and old - to work to create an enterprise environment that supports business growth rather than hindering it. It appears that, disillusioned with existing enterprise policies, more entrepreneurs are pro-actively seeking to get involved by putting themselves forward for election.”

He added: “In the areas of tax, regulation and finance we need stability, certainty and continuity of support. Schemes designed to protect small businesses must not be sacrificed in the name of spending cuts. It is vital that the voices of candidates with business and finance experience are heard.”

According to the IPT’s research, 55 per cent of the potential parliamentary candidates surveyed have previously stood for election.

On average, they have been actively involved in politics in some way for over 12 years and their average age is 43.

In the seats surveyed, a candidate is twice as likely to be a man rather than a woman. However, compared to MPs currently in the House of Commons, there are a higher proportion of female potential candidates for each of the three main political parties.