It’s not considered good form for journalists to write about the politics of the general election on the day of the vote itself, lest our words unduly influence the vote.
Yet with another set of polls (IPSOS MORI and those from Lord Ashcroft, for example) showing the two major parties – Labour and Conservatives – tied, I do not think I am overstepping the mark when I say that a clear majority for either is an exceptionally unlikely outcome.
This will be, I would argue, terrible news for retailers.
As either one of the parties conducts horse trading with smaller parties in an attempt to bring together a majority (323 seats is the magic number) we can expect those manifesto commitments to be ditched, augmented or rescinded.
For all parties involved, this will be a painful experience, but their major efforts will be to hold on to the big pledges. For Labour this will be its plan to cut the non-dom status from Britain’s tax laws, its pledge to cut the deficit and to lower tuition fees to £6,000. Conservatives are clear that any agreement will need to include a EU referendum while the Lib Dems won’t sign up to a coalition that will cut £12bn from the welfare budget (a Tory policy) and want extra funding for schools to be guaranteed.
Notice, however, that none of these red lines include small business policies.
In an era when parties are not expecting to be given a strong mandate from the public, all the efforts that they are going to make will be around health, education and the wider economy.
From their perspective, why would they risk a bill being defeated (and potentially the end of their time in government) on a vote to reform business rates, better tackling retail crime or providing access to loans for the smallest businesses?
They simply won’t.
That is why the gauntlet is going to be thrown down for independent retailers after this evening. When the whole of government is likely to focus more on its survival than the survival of your store, it becomes even more important for you to engage with your MP and ensure that they, at the very least, are able to champion your needs.
Let them know your needs, your priorities and the benefits you bring to your community. Because while the parties might forget about the needs of small businesses in the maelstrom to come, MPs will need to highlight the positive effects they can bring to their constituents more than ever before.
Especially if another election is called this year – as many are predicting.
The campaigns might be over, but your chance to make a real difference (or struggle to even be heard) has only just begun.
Follow @TomGK_RN tonight for instant analysis and to find out the fate of MPs who have influenced your business over the past five years.