74% of NI business people say they will vote to stay in the EU

Posted: 7/6/2016

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  • Second NI Chamber pre-referendum survey shows that, with less than 50 days to go, a majority of businesspeople surveyed (74%) say they will vote for the UK to Remain in the European Union
  • Voting intentions have tightened amongst the businesspeople surveyed – with Leave now polling 10 points higher (now 21%) than NI Chamber’s February survey
  • Previous survey in February had Remain on 81%, Leave with 11%, and 8% don’t know
  • The vast majority – nearly 90% – of those businesspeople surveyed by the business organisation say they are now unlikely to change their vote

Nearly three-quarters of the senior businesspeople polled in the final Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) survey say they will vote for the UK to remain in the European Union.

The survey, carried out by the business organisation in the lead up to the upcoming referendum, indicated that 74% of businesspeople polled in Northern Ireland would vote to Remain in the EU and 21% would vote to Leave.

The survey was the second, and final, survey from the business organisation in the run up to the referendum, and revealed how voting intentions have tightened amongst the businesspeople since they were first surveyed in February 2016, with Leave now polling 10 points higher (the first survey in February 2016 had Remain on 81%, Leave with 11%, and 8% don’t know.)

The findings formed part of an overall UK-wide British Chambers of Commerce survey, which also shows that individuals are now strongly committed to their voting preferences with only 14% claiming that they could change their mind between now and 23 June 2016.

The local business organisation, which represents over 1,200 businesses who employee over 100,000 people, has always maintained a clear position of neutrality on the upcoming referendum to respect the diversity of views amongst the businesses it serves.

Commenting on the results, Stephen McCully, President of NI Chamber, said:

“As 23 June 2016 fast approaches, the race for the business vote has clearly tightened. Although a clear majority of the businesspeople we surveyed continue to express a preference to remain in the European Union, the gap between Remain and Leave has narrowed in recent weeks.

“Whichever outcome prevails, attention must focus back to the economy on 24 June without delay.”

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