Unimpressed with the election campaign so far and disillusioned with politics and politicians, leading figures in the timber industry have one abiding fear post-May 6 – a hung parliament.

“It is the ultimate nightmare scenario, as the only thing I can remember cross-party agreement on was how to claim expenses,” said Fraser Steele, managing director of Glenalmond Timber.

Mike Cater, managing director of UCM Timber, in Stevenage, warned: “No overall control would be a weak response to the issues that need to be tackled.”

He added: “I am fairly disillusioned with a lot of these guys. I wish they would start talking about the issues without blaming one another. It would be better to have a short sharp shock [of cuts] to get the money in.”

Rowlinson Timber managing director John Bate said that the last thing the country and the timber trade needed was an inconclusive election result and indecisive government.

“The recession and uncertainty over the UK economic outlook has already led our traditional suppliers to look to new markets; the Swedes for example are looking to India and China, Latvia to North Africa,” he said.

“Additionally the election has resulted in customers putting things on hold. What we need on Friday May 7 is for the new government to be clear-cut and move quickly, so we all know where we stand and can plan ahead. Whoever wins, we know they’re going to have to make cuts, so where are they going to be? When is the decision going to be made to build all those new homes we need? Further uncertainty and dilly dallying is the last thing business wants. But the big question is whether a hung parliament could offer that decisiveness, or would just put off the big questions.”

Karen Wood, joint managing director of the Stairways Group, said whichever party is elected the focus should be the economy.

“I strongly hope that the government assists SMEs in a more appropriate manner to aid growth in this sector, otherwise I can see it reducing as business owners won’t be inspired to continue the fight forward.”

She also feared a hung parliament would affect the pound and cause uncertainty, resulting in a weaker economy and general poor fiscal performance.

Richard Lambert, chief executive of the British Woodworking Federation, said: “The next government needs to balance support for the economy with bringing down the deficit. If it takes money out of the economy by not spending, things will get tough very quickly. The government represents 40% of the construction industry.”

Mr Steele said: “I hope it will be a Tory majority, not because Cameron is impressing me more than Nick Clegg at the moment, but our economy is screaming out for a change in government.”

Overall, he wanted “a return to common sense politics and accountability from politicians”.