| 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


LONDON, 25 May 2016

  • Less than half of British adults (46%) - the equivalent of around 22.8m* people - say they are worried about what a vote to leave the EU may do to the value of the pound, according to FXcompared research conducted by ComRes.
  • This represents a marked change in public opinion compared to February 2016 when a majority of Britons (55%) - the equivalent of around 27.2m people - expressed worry that a potential UK-departure from the EU would affect the value of the pound.
  • The proportion of Britons saying that they are not at all worried about Brexit’s potential influence on the pound rose by 8 percentage points from 20% in February 2016 to 28% in May 2016.
  • Those living in London continue to be the most likely to say they are worried about what a “leave” vote may do to the value of the pound. However, the proportion of Londoners saying they are worried has dropped by 10 percentage points from 69% in February to 59% in May.

In May 2016, half (50%) of British adults say they are not worried about what effect a vote to leave the EU would have on the value of the pound, while almost half (46%) say they are worried. 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 just 44% were not worried. Overall there has been a swing of 7.5 percentage points from the ‘worried’ camp to the ‘not worried’ camp between the two polls.

Regionally, adults living in London continue to be the 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.

The pound has been hurt by uncertainty. Since November last year, the pound has fallen by about 9.5% against the euro. It has also seen considerable volatility since the announcement of the referendum as well as something of a recovery over the past month. When FXcompared first asked the question in February, the rate stood at about €1.2680, it had strengthened to around €1.291 by the time the question was re-asked in May.

Daniel Webber, co-founder and Managing Director of FXcompared, said: “Over the last three months, since we first conducted this survey, we have seen a big push for the United Kingdom to stay in the European Union by figures ranging from President Obama to Benedict Cumberbatch. Our research continues to show that the value of the pound is an important factor to Britons who are going to face the ‘in/out’ vote on June 23 and could influence their vote, but public opinion is changing.


“Over the last three months, campaigners appear to have significantly reduced people’s fears of a negative impact on sterling. Of course, any negative impact on the pound would still be felt by millions of Britons, from people holidaying abroad, to those buying property overseas, or simply sending money to family.”

The research also highlighted gender and generational differences. Women (51%) continue to be more likely than men (41%) to be concerned about how a “leave” vote may affect the value of the pound. However, the proportion of both worried women and men has dropped markedly from 61% and 48%, respectively, in February 2016. Middle-aged adults are more likely than their older counterparts to be worried about the value of the pound being affected by a “leave” vote, with 56% of those aged 25-34 and 54% of those aged 35-44 saying they would be worried. Only a third of those over age 65 (35%) also voiced concern.



Notes to editors:

For more information, please call:

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

The FXcompared survey was undertaken by ComRes, and 1,004 British adults were interviewed by telephone between 20th and 22th May 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.

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

*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.

The report and data tables can be accessed at: www.fxcompared.com/intelligence/brexit-may16


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