In or out? A digital analysis of #brexit
Posted on: 01/06/2016, by : Laurence Borel

Before we deep dive into the data, I’d like to clarify this post is solely intended as a quick analysis of the volume of conversations sentiment and traffic surrounding a vote that could significantly change the world we live in forever. This analysis looks at social media and traffic data from both the Remain and Leave campaigns.

Social Media data were collected during 1st October 2015 and 31st May 2016, when both the #voteleave and #strongerin hashtags started emerging.

Stronger In:

  • 208,943 mentions were recorded during period and peaked in May 2016
  • As we can see from the word cloud below, the key arguments posited by the camp appear to be around trade agreements, businesses, universities.
  • We can also see that those from the Brexit camp often intervene within these conversations, as demonstrated by the prominent #voteleave hashtag within the word cloud.

Stronger in volume and sentiment

Stronger in Word Cloud

In terms of digital channels. Stronger In are being smart with their PPC stategy. This is what happens when you Google ‘Leave EU’…

Stronger IN


  • Conversely, the #voteleave hashtag received 268K mentions during the same period, and appears to be following a very similar curve in terms of mentions as the #strongerin campaign
  • Key topics of conversations tend to be around taking control and stopping the EU/euro-scepticism, priorities and Brussels, but no other clearly identifiable themes of conversations emerge.
  • The mentions around the #voteleave movement peaked in May, with The Ordinary Man Twitter user, driving a large volume of RTs throughout the month

#voteleave sentiment and volume over time

#voteleave word cloud

Traffic analysis (April – June 2016)

Of course, the fact that there are multiple segmented movements for the Leave campaign does not help with their campaign traffic-wise… Stronger In however beats with the support of a PPC campaign, which appears to have kicked off in April… Because the traffic significantly dropped in May, I would suspect that they have reduced their PPC investment significantly, with the aim of potentially increasing spend again in the final few weeks of the campaign.

Stronger in vs. leave

Scrunity of the Stronger In vs. Leave Take Control however depicts a different story… Vote Leave had a clear lead traffic-wise until April 2016, when the Remain camp kicked off their PPC campaign… As of May 2016 with significantly reduced levels of paid search investment, both camps are head to head. Remain vs. vote leave take control

Final stats as of 1st June 2016:

  • Remain traffic: 363,112 vs. Leave 372,912
  • Remain social mentions: 208,943 mentions vs. Leave: 268K
  • Remain social media count: 444,703 likes, 32,285 followers. vs. Leave social media count: 439,356 likes, 48,785 followers.

If we are to go by these numbers, the Leave camp marginally wins…

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