Media centre

SSA B-side: What Scots Think about the Pound… So Far

ScotCen’s Scottish Social Attitudes survey, released last week, sheds some light on what Scots think about the issue of currency.

The Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney will today enter the debate on Scottish independence by making a speech to the Scottish Council for Development and Industry on one of the key referendum battlegrounds - the Pound.

While Carney has agreed to give a "cold analysis" of the implications of a so-called currency union, results from ScotCen’s Scottish Social Attitudes survey, released last week, shed some light on what Scots think about the issue.  

  • 79% would like an independent Scotland to continue to use the pound
  • Just 11% of respondents would like an independent Scotland to have its own currency, and only 7% to adopt the euro
  • Only 57% think that an independent Scotland would end up using the pound
  • 21% of Scots believe Scotland would find itself using the euro and 16% its own currency.
  • Yes supporters (70% in favour) are somewhat less keen than No supporters on keeping the pound (85%)

ScotCen’s research consultant John Curtice commented:

“There is already widespread public scepticism about whether an independent Scotland would be able to keep the pound. According to the latest Scottish Social Attitudes survey, while 79% would like to keep the pound, only 57% reckon an independent Scotland would be able to do so. However this scepticism seems to be making little difference to people's views of the merits of independence. Those who would like to keep the pound but do not think it would happen are only a little more likely to say they are 'worried' about independence, to say that the economy would be 'worse' under independence, and above all to say they will vote No. The currency debate seems be mattering much less in shaping people's views than those campaigning on both sides seem to presume.”

As a quick reminder the data for questions from the 2013 survey can be found

A more detailed analysis of this issue can be found in the report: ‘Is it really all just about economics? Issues of nationhood and welfare’ written by John Curtice.


Notes to Editors

ScotCen Social Research is an independent, not for profit organisation. We believe that social research has the power to make life better. By really understanding the complexity of people’s lives and what they think about the issues that affect them, we give the public a powerful and influential role in shaping decisions and services that can make a difference to everyone.

 The Scottish Social Attitudes survey aims to produce high quality survey data to inform both public policy and academic study. It has a long time series (dating back to 1999) on public attitudes towards devolution and independence. Further details about ScotCen Social Research and the Scottish Social Attitudes survey are available at

  1. The results this press release covers are being presented for the first time at  a conference on ‘Scottish Social Attitudes 2013: The Referendum - What Scotland Thinks So Far’ being held at One Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, on 22 January 2014.


  1. The 2013 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey interviewed a probability sample of 1,497 adults face to face between 25th June and 23rd October 2013. Data are weighted to reflect known patterns of non-response and the age and gender profile of the adult population in Scotland.

 Funding for the 2013 results reported here was provided by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of its research initiative on ‘The Future of the UK and Scotland’. Further details about this initiative can be found at Responsibility for the analysis and views expressed here lies with the authors alone.

 The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's total budget for 2012/13 is £205 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.