Nearly two-thirds of interim managers and executives in the UK say they will vote to remain in the European Union, according to interim management specialists Hemming Robeson.
Sixty-three per cent of those surveyed said they would vote to stay in the EU if the referendum took place tomorrow. Just under a third (34%) said they would vote to leave, and a remaining 3% said they would not vote.
More than a quarter (27%) said the ‘Remain’ campaign, led by Britain Stronger In Europe was running the most compelling campaign, compared with just 14% favouring the Vote Leave campaign. However, 57% said that neither sides were running a compelling campaign.
Fifty-five per cent agreed that the UK would be “safer, stronger and better” off by staying within the European Union. In comparison, just 29% disagreed with that statement and 15% saying they were unsure.
With a number of issues being debated in the run-up to the referendum, interim managers said the economy (62%) was the most important issue for them. Sovereignty (28%) and immigration (11%), the key areas for ‘Leave’ campaigners, trailed some way behind.
Just under half (49%) said that leaving the EU would pose a significant risk to the UK, answering ‘4’ or ‘5’ on a 1-5 scale – one being ‘no risk’ and five being ‘extreme risk’. Just 24% suggested there would be little (‘2’) or no risk (‘1’), with a further 27% agreeing there would be a certain degree of risk (‘3’).
Nick Robeson, CEO of Hemming Robeson, said: “Our survey provided some fascinating insight into the mindset of over 300 interim managers and executives ahead of this crucial moment in our history. It appears that when push comes to shove, most believe the future looks brighter as part of the European Union.
“It’s interesting to see that Vote Leave is having little or no impact on business leaders, which suggests that Boris Johnson, who is the face of the Leave campaign, is clearly out of touch with the professional classes.”
A separate survey conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce found that 54% of business people in the UK want to stay in the EU, however that was down from 60% in February.