Campaigns

‘The public mood could change’: Q&A with Roland Rudd, chair of Open Britain

Among the groups campaigning against a hard Brexit, Open Britain is among the best-resourced. But their impact on public opinion and the government’s negotiating stance has so far been minimal. LSE Brexit co-editor Ros Taylor asked the chair of Open Britain, Roland Rudd, about the campaign’s strategy.

It’s March 2019 and we’ve just crashed out of the EU without a trade or transitional deal. […]

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    More positive, assertive and forward-looking: how Leave won Twitter

More positive, assertive and forward-looking: how Leave won Twitter

How did people talk about the EU referendum on Twitter? Akitaka Matsuo and Kenneth Benoit (left) analysed 23m tweets about Brexit, and found salient differences between Leave and Remain supporters. People who backed Leave were more likely to use positive, assertive and forward-looking language. They also tended to follow politicians and campaigning accounts, while Remain supporters were more likely to follow […]

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    The Brexit debate through social media: deliberative discussion, or deliberate dysfunction?

The Brexit debate through social media: deliberative discussion, or deliberate dysfunction?

Using over 35m tweets collected in the year before the Brexit referendum, Ken Benoit analyses the debate and campaign through social media to track the framing, the argumentation, and the patterns of communication about the issues and consequences of the vote. LSE academics Sara Hobolt, Jennifer Jackson Preece and Jean-Christophe Plantin contribute to the discussion. You can also watch the slides with […]

The British Asian vote for Brexit contains a few surprises

Months on from the EU referendum, our understanding of the Leave vote is still patchy in certain areas. We’ve learnt that older people and the less affluent were more likely to choose Brexit, but we know less about how the vote broke down in ethnic terms. Rakib Ehsan shows that the strength of euroscepticism within the British South Asian population was perhaps […]

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    Unsourced and incomplete: how referendum campaign leaflets misused statistics

Unsourced and incomplete: how referendum campaign leaflets misused statistics

We know some of the statistics deployed in the EU referendum campaign were at best dubious. But how did both sides deploy stats to make their points? Nambassa Nakatudde takes a look at the hundreds of campaign leaflets donated to the LSE Library archive, and finds a number of alarming traits: an almost total failure to source statistical claims, […]

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    Negotiations over EU budget contributions could be harder than expected

Negotiations over EU budget contributions could be harder than expected

Remember that red bus with the promise of £350 million per week more for the NHS? Like so many bus services, there might be quite a long wait and a far from a negligible risk of cancellation. Quite apart from the post-referendum admission by prominent leave campaigners that the amount promised was always a bit of a porky, the […]

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    We should ensure women’s rights are safeguarded in the Brexit negotiations

We should ensure women’s rights are safeguarded in the Brexit negotiations

The EU referendum campaign was focused on debates by men, for men and about men. Regardless of the outcome of the upcoming Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU, women are likely to lose from the deal. But it is not yet too late to turn this crisis into an opportunity, writes Mareike Müller.

In 1975 the United Kingdom held its first referendum about leaving the […]

Every generation votes in their own interest. But in an ageing world, that’s a problem

A majority of pensioners voted for Brexit, but less than a fifth of 18-24 year-old voters did. How does age influence voting decisions in referenda? As direct democracy becomes more and more popular, Gabriel Ahlfeldt and his co-authors analysed voting patterns among different generations and found people tend to vote in their own interests – which, when the costs are short-term and […]

Thinking harder: how we could do referendums differently

A single vote will take us out of the EU, quite possibly without Parliament’s explicit consent. Davina Cooper asks whether a referendum based purely on individual Leave/Remain votes was the best we can do – or whether a more deliberative system, which would demand more engagement from the public, could produce a more considered outcome.

A fight has been raging since Brexit over […]

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    From a bang to a whisper: the decline in Brexit-related discussion on social media

From a bang to a whisper: the decline in Brexit-related discussion on social media

By 23 June, Vote Leave had 620.9k followers across its social media platforms, versus Stronger In’s 595.8k – or 51% versus 49%, not too dissimilar from the final result. Andre van Loon, Research & Insight Director at social media agency We Are Social, discusses the divergent social media strategies adopted during the referendum campaign. He adds that the fall-off […]