The poll of 153 MPs by Communicate Research showed that 68% of elected politicians support the findings of the recent All Party Small Shops Group report, which calls on the government to intervene to prevent the multiple supermarkets driving independent retailers off the map.
Only 26% of MPs believe that the issue is best left to market forces to resolve.
As many as 95% of Liberal Democrat MPs support government intervention into the market, along with 71% of Labour MPs. The Conservatives are the party most in favour of leaving it to market forces, but even 56% of Tories backed the findings of the Small Shops Group report.
At the last round of Trade and Industry questions in the House of Commons, members of the Small Shops Group quizzed Competition Minister Gerry Sutcliffe about the MPs' report and also the growing market share of the multiple grocers in the convenience store sector.
Sutcliffe replied: "It is important that politics and politicians are taken out of this matter. The competition authorities must consider [the market] in great detail, which is one of the reasons for the referral.
When the OFT completes its consultation process, it will decide on whether to refer it to the Competition Commission, and share of the grocery market [held by supermarkets] will be one of the issues considered."
Further support for the small store sector could come from the unlikely source of Brussels, as EU bureaucrats are considering a watertight definition of how national market regulators should deal with companies who "abuse a dominant position" in a market.
Abuse of a dominant position is outlawed by article 82 of the Treaty of Rome, but how this law is interpreted has varied widely across Europe.

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