Just under one in three (30%) landlords were undecided until very late as to whether to vote leave or remain in the EU in the UK referendum on Thursday. This was the finding of a survey conducted by the National Landlords Association.
Landlords were equally as divided on the decision to stay or remain as the rest of the country. The survey showed that 35% intended to vote to remain, while 35% intended to vote to stay. We are yet to see the actual data of how the votes turned out, but let’s take a look at what the surveys said about landlords before the vote.
According to the NLA, landlords polled were split on what a Brexit would mean to their business prospects in the future. About 53% believed that the UK remaining in the EU would be profitable to them, while 47% believed that remaining would impact negatively on their business.
The greatest support to remain (45%) came from landlords in London and the South East, while the greatest support to leave came from the North East (44%).
Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer of the National Landlord Association, said: “Landlords, much like the rest of the British public, are divided on how to will vote in the EU referendum, which means the decision looks to go down to the wire. (At 51.9 % leave and 48.1% remain, it was close but with over 1 million margin.
The Remain and Leave campaigns both had difficulty persuading the public on the benefits or hazards of a Brexit vote, and they struggled to provide any clear analysis about the impact exiting the EU would have on the buy-to-let market.
As a result, landlords appear more likely to vote in this referendum based on their attitudes to issues such as national security, trade, and immigration, rather than the effect on the UK property market or their businesses.”
LandLordZONE, one of the leading property websites dedicated to landlords in the UK, conducted a straw poll that showed a slightly different result. Among the 500 people who voted on the website and Twitter polls, 55% voted to leave, while 41% voted to remain. Only 4% of those were undecided at the time. It’s pertinent to note that unlike other polls where respondents are sampled at random, the respondents to LandlordZONE’s poll volunteered to participate. Add the 4% undecided to the remain vote and that was a fairly good poll.
Opinion polls are not very popular in the UK since after the last election. The misleading predictions left them somewhat discredited after the elections. Some people believed that betting trends were the most realistic indicator for predicting the outcome of the referendum, and national events in general, because that is where people put their money. This time the bookies and the markets got it wrong.
What is important now is that landlords and the general public get positive and on board with the new UK reality. There is no need being pessimistic and being dominated by fear. It’s time to get excited about a new chapter, and growing the country. Not economic protection, but economic growth through bold and strong new global partnerships. As the conservative message always used to say “we are in this together.”