How the Strength of the Pound may influence Brexit Voters

| Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

The majority of Britons are either fairly or very worried about the impact that a vote to leave the EU would have on the pound in the longer term, and more than two in five voters – equivalent to around 21.3m people – say the pound’s performance between now and June 23 would be an important factor in which way they choose to vote. Our research comes from a survey of the British population over the weekend of 26-28 February 2016 executed by ComRes.

The pound has suffered since the announcement of the date of the EU referendum. In the four days following the announcement it fell by around 2% from €1.29 to €1.26 - although it has since recovered some of that ground – but is still down a massive 12% from its recent high of €1.43 in November, less than four months ago.

Our research also shows that women are more concerned about the long-term impact on the pound of an ‘out’ vote, with nearly half (48%) of the women surveyed saying the pound’s performance would be an important factor in determining how they vote.

Getting under the skin of people who are going to be voting in the referendum and what is driving their fears is going to be key to both sides of the Brexit argument. Our research clearly shows that the value of the pound is very important to Britons who are going to face the ‘in/out’ vote on June 23 and could influence their vote.

A negative impact on sterling will be keenly felt, whether people are travelling abroad, buying property abroad, or are simply sending money to relatives overseas. It is something that each Brexit campaign camp needs to bear in mind.

Differences are not just apparent between men and women, there is also a generational divide with almost two thirds (62%) of those aged 18-34 worried about what an ‘out’ vote could do longer term to the pound’s value, yet just half of those aged 55-64 have the same concerns.

Londoners are the most worried about the value of the pound if Britain chooses to leave the EU, with 69% saying they are concerned about the impact of an ‘out’ vote on the pound. More than half of Londoners (51%) say the performance of the pound between now and June 23 would be an important factor in which way they choose to vote.

Further north in the UK, opinions are different, and almost half (49%) of people in the Midlands are not worried about the effect a vote to leave the EU would have on sterling.

It is interesting to note the different attitudes of the younger and older generations in these results, and also the variations across regions. It may simply come down to different attitudes to things like foreign travel or EU integration, as the younger generations have never known anything different, while the older generation can remember a time before Britain was in the EU.

Whether this leads to a romantic notion of ‘years gone by’, or an actual feeling that things were better before our entry into the EU remains to be seen. We will find out for sure on June 23.

Data Tables

Q1. 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?

Category Total Male Female

Don't know 1.3% 1% 1%
NET: Not worried 43.7% 50% 37%
Not at all worried 20.4% 27% 14%
Not very worried 23.4% 24% 23%
Fairly worried 35.9% 31% 41%
Very worried 19.1% 18% 20%
NET: Worried 55.0% 48% 61%


ComRes interviewed 1,002 GB adults via telephone between 26th and 28th February 2016. Data were weighted to be representative of the British public by age, gender and region. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

These population figures are based on 49,501,761 people in the England, Scotland and Wales who are above the voting age of 18 according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, released on June 25, 2015.

If you require any further information, are interested in more detailed data or for press enquiries, please email or contact our offices.

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