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Majority supports Remain campaign

Most bosses ‘unlikely to change their EU vote’

Liz CameronNine out of ten business leaders polled in the final Scottish Chambers of Commerce survey ahead of the European Union referendum say they are now unlikely to change how they will vote.

SCC’s detailed findings indicate that 68.3% of business people polled would vote to Remain, down slightly from 69.4% in February 2016, and 22.9% would vote to Leave – up from 19.2% on SCC’s previous survey.

The data on voting intentions also shows some divisions based on size and export interests. Those trading with both EU and non-EU markets express the strongest support for ‘Remain’, with the strongest levels of support for ‘Leave’ among those that either do not export or only export outwith the EU.

Those representing medium and large firms are more likely to vote ‘Remain’ than those in small and micro businesses.

The findings, from an April survey of 357 leading business figures, also show that individuals are now strongly committed to their voting preferences. Just 0.3% of respondents said they were uncommitted, and only 9.7% said they could change their mind.

Liz Cameron, chief executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “With the Scottish Elections now over and less than 50 days to go until the electorate decide the UK’s status within the European Union, both campaigns are ramping up their visibility and messaging to secure the ‘business vote.’

“From a Scottish perspective, of those surveyed, a high number of businesses (68.3%) support the option to remain within the European Union.  This position changed minimally by 1% point from the previous survey in February, whilst those voting to leave generated a 23% response, an increase of 3% from February’s result.

“Interestingly, the views in the rest of the UK are tightening, with the gap closing between the Remain and Leave votes, with 54% supporting and 37% wishing to exit.

“The majority of businesses who took part indicated they would not be changing their views.

“Once the vote has been taken, we would again urge both the Scottish and Westminster Parliaments to get back to running the country ensuring that every piece of policy and legislation is supporting business growth.  Delays have already impacted our economic growth and urgent action is needed.”

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