Social Media

Vote Leave is winning on social media, but what does that mean for the outcome of the EU referendum?


By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

June 23, 2016 | 4 min read

Campaigning from official political groups Britain Stronger in Europe and Vote Leave has stopped today as voters head out to mark their ‘X’ in the ballot box.

Away from the polling stations, fresh research shows that the Vote Leave camp is winning the social media arms race, having engaged its audience by a larger margin and upping its follower count quicker over the past month of political campaigning.

Research from global marketing agency We Are Social shows that while the opposing sides have a relatively close number of followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with Stronger In having 595.8K followers and Vote Leave counting 620.9K followers, the latter has provoked more engagement with its supporters.

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Will social media predictions have an impact on the EU vote?

Over the past 30 days Vote Leave has clocked up 3.9m interactions across social, including likes, comments and share, Britain Stronger in Europe meanwhile has racked up significantly less exchanges – noting 2m.

“Leave supporters on social are particularly engaged: liking, commenting and sharing in much larger numbers than Remain followers,” said Andre Van Loon, research and insight director at We Are Social.

However, he warned that this is not a solid indication of how the vote will go, noting: “This could be because Remain is all about staying with the status quo whereas Leave is about making a change. It’s also worth bearing in mind that not all voters will be highly engaged with social media at all. But one thing can be certain - it’s going to be close.”

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Over 121.7K new followers have signed up to Britain Stronger in Europe’s social channels over the past month, while more have flocked to Vote Leave’s various profiles with 134.5K new sign-ups following the group on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

“Vote Leave’s most popular content revolves around the perceived injustice of sending money to Brussels,” added Van Loon.

The most popular post on Vote Leave’s Facebook page was an expose-style film called ‘The video that the EU tried to SHUT DOWN. This is how the EU spends YOUR money,’ which garnered 229K interactions online, including emoji reactions on Facebook like ‘wow’, and ‘angry’.

However, Remain has seen an uplift in support over the last 30 days. Its most interacted with posts revolve around celebrities like Daniel Craig on Instagram and Sheila Hancock on Facebook, who’s speech about Britain’s relationship with the EU clocked up 87.5K interactions for Britain Stronger in Europe.

Social media analysis has been proven wrong in previous votes, most notably during the Scottish Referendum which saw analysts predict a Yes result as the outcome.

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