Public confidence in the future of the Union is much lower than it was five years ago

New Ipsos MORI research shows that people in Britain have become less confident that the UK will continue to exist in its present form in the medium term.

The author(s)

  • Emily Gray Managing Director, Ipsos MORI Scotland
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Key findings:

  • 72% of British adults think the UK will exist in its current form in one year’s time, a similar figure to when Ipsos MORI last asked this question in 2014.
  • But people are split on whether the UK will exist in its current form in five years’ time, with 42% saying it will and 44% that it won’t. In 2014 the figures were 61% saying it will and 27% that it won’t.
  • Half think it won’t exist in its current form in ten years’ time, with 50% saying this, up from 34% in 2014.  And 51% think it won’t exist in its current form in twenty years’ time – up from 38% in 2014.
  • Conservative supporters tend to be more confident the UK will continue to exist, while Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters are less so.

Emily Gray, Managing Director of Ipsos MORI Scotland, said:

While no one would expect public confidence in the Union’s future to be higher now than it was five years ago, what’s striking is just how much it’s dropped. These findings show that the British public are now much more divided in their expectations of the Union’s future than they were in 2014, when the Union’s future was under intense debate with Scotland just three months away from an independence referendum. With independence a key faultline in Scotland’s election debate, the findings will be concerning for those who want Scotland to remain in the Union, while those campaigning for an independent Scotland will hope that this is a continuing trend.

Technical note:

  • Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,001 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain.
  • Interviews were conducted by telephone 25th – 28th October 2019.
  • Data are weighted to the profile of the population.
  • Where results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of “don’t know” categories.

The author(s)

  • Emily Gray Managing Director, Ipsos MORI Scotland

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