Majority of Britons Are No Longer Concerned About Brexit's Risk to the Pound

| Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Less than half of Britons now worried about Brexit’s risk to the pound, a significant change from concerns voiced three months ago

FXcompared Intelligence commissioned ComRes to survey UK adults to gauge how concerned they are about what a majority ‘Leave’ vote in the 23 June EU referendum may do to the value of the pound. Half (50%) of those surveyed said they are not worried about what effect the will have on the value of the pound. This is a marked change of public opinion from FXcompared’s February poll when this same question was asked. In February, a majority of Britons (55%) said they were worried over the effect a vote to leave the EU would cause to the pound, while 44% said they were not worried. Overall there has been a swing of 7.5 percentage points from the ‘worried’ camp to the ‘not worried’ camp. Notably, the proportion of Britons saying they are not at all worried has risen by 8 percentage points, from 20% in February to 28% in May.

Adults living in London continue to be most likely of British adults to be worried about what a ‘Leave’ vote may do to the value of the pound. Three in five Londoners (59%) say they would be worried, compared to less than half of British adults (46%) overall. However, the proportion of Londoners saying they are worried has dropped by 10 percentage points from 69% in February.

Women (51%) continue to be more likely than men (41%) to say that they would be worried about what a ‘Leave’ vote may do to the value of the pound. However, the proportion of women and men that are concerned about what a ‘Leave’ vote may do to the pound has dropped since February (from 61% of women and 48% of men ).

Middle-aged adults are more likely than their older counterparts to be worried. Whereas more than half of those aged 25-34 (56%) or 35-44 (54%) say they would be worried, only a third of those aged 65+ (35%) say the same. High-earners remain the most worried category when grouped by income. Of those earning over GBP48,000 per year 67% up from 61% in February.

In line with this finding, respondents from social grades AB were more likely to be concerned about the effect a leave vote would have on the pound; in both February and May 57% in this category said they were worried. These were the only grades where a majority of respondents expressed concern. In May, only 48% of respondents from social grade C1 said they were worried, 38% from C2, and 40% from DE.

While the pound had fluctuated significantly after the referendum date was announced - falling by approximately 2% in the days after - it has since regained ground. The pounded has risen from a low of EUR1.25:GBP in mid-April to over EUR1.30:GBP in late May.

Data Tables:

"Question. On 23rd June voters will be asked whether they would like the UK to remain in the European Union, or whether to leave. If a majority of voters decided to vote for the UK leaving the EU, to what extent, if at all, would you be worried about what this outcome may do to the value of the pound?"

Overall Sentiment
% May 2016% Feb 2016
NET: Worried (Very worried + Fairly worried)4655
Very worried1619
Fairly worried3036
Not very worried2223
Not at all worried2820
Don't know41
NET: Not worried (Not very worried + Not at all worried)5044

Gender Comparison
% May 2016 % Feb 2016% May 2016 % Feb 2016
NET: Worried (Very worried + Fairly worried)51614148
Very worried17201618
Fairly worried35412531
Not very worried23232124
Not at all worried21143527
Don't know5131
NET: Not worried (Not very worried + Not at all worried)44375650

Regional Differences
% May 2016 % Feb 2016% May 2016 % Feb 2016
NET: Worried (Very worried + Fairly worried)47545969
Very worried16192531
Fairly worried31353338
Not very worried23232017
Not at all worried27211714
Don't know3241
NET: Not worried (Not very worried + Not at all worried)50443731

FXcompared commissioned ComRes who interviewed 1,004 adults by telephone between 20-22 May 2016. Data were weighted to be representative of the British public by age, gender and region. Previous research from February can be found here.

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