| Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Brexit ‘in’ or ‘out’ vote set to hinge on pound’s strength before June 23 referendum

LONDON, 2nd March 2016

  • Most Britons (55%) are worried about what a vote to leave the EU will do to the strength of the pound.
  • Two in five Britons (43%) – or around 21.3m people* – say the value of the pound leading up to the referendum will be an important factor regarding their vote to remain in or leave the EU.
  • Women (61%) are more likely to be concerned about the impact on sterling long term than men (48%) if the UK votes ‘out’, and are also more likely to say the pound’s value will be an important factor in their vote (women 48% vs men 37%).
  • Three in five of those aged 18-34 (62%) say they would be concerned about sterling’s ongoing value if a majority of voters decided the UK should leave the EU, yet less than half of those aged 55-64 (47%) say they would be worried.
Most Britons (55%, around 27.2m people over 18) are worried an ‘out’ vote on Brexit could lead to problems for the strength of the pound.
Meanwhile, 43% (around 21.3m) of respondents said that the strength of the pound leading up the referendum would be an important factor in terms of how they would vote.

Women are more concerned than men that Britain voting for Brexit could damage sterling, and they are also more likely to think that the performance of the pound leading up to and on the day of the referendum will be an important factor in whether to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to staying in the EU.

Nearly half of women (48%) surveyed say the performance of the pound between now and June 23 will be an important factor on their vote, compared to just 37% of men.

The pound has already been impacted by the uncertainty - in the four days following the announcement of the referendum date, the pound’s value fell by around 2% from €1.29 to the pound to €1.26, but had recovered slightly to €1.28 on March 1. On November 17 last year, the pound was riding high at €1.43 – meaning a fall of nearly 12% in just under four months.

Daniel Webber, co-founder and Managing Director of FXcompared, said: “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.”

There is a strong generational divide when it comes to how worried people are about the impact of a Brexit vote on the pound’s value long term, with three in five (62%) of those aged 18-34 saying they are worried about what an ‘out’ vote will do to the pound’s value. Yet just half of those aged 55-64 (47%) say they are worried about the pound’s value if we were to vote to leave the EU.

Regional differences are also quite stark, with Londoners by far the most worried in England as more than two thirds (69%) of them are worried about the impact of an ‘out’ vote on the pound. More than half of Londoners (51%) also say the performance of the pound before the referendum would be an important factor for their vote.

However, people in the Midlands and East of England are the least worried, with almost half (49%) saying they are not worried.

Daniel Webber added: “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.”


Notes to editors:

For more information, please call:

Daniel Webber of FXcompared on +44 (0) 207 871 5565

The survey was undertaken by ComRes on behalf of FXcompared, and 1,002 British adults were interviewed by telephone between 26th and 28th February 2016. Data was 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 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.

Full data tables can be accessed at www.fxcompared.com

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