Digital Digest: #EURefResult – Referendum special

The U.K. electorate has now answered the most important political question for a generation, but what did social media make of it?

The results of the EU Referendum are a study in the disparity between social media and on the ground trends.


Unsurprisingly, it has been a tense 24 hours, reflected in the conversation taking place across social media channels. The referendum debate continued through the night, with cities around the U.K. trending as the outcomes were announced. Dominating online media was the shock of the confirmation that we are facing Brexit and not Bremain and the resulting economic and political impact. Over the last 24 hours, the total volume of mentions of Brexit and the EU referendum has reached over six million across social media and online. According to Talkwalker research, the most popular topic has been business and the economy followed by immigration and healthcare.

In contrast to the voting outcome, the trends on social media showed a 58.4% edge for #Remain hashtags versus #Leave hashtags right up until voting closed.

A recent Financial Times Brexit Poll Tracker also showed that even though British voters were split on the issue, social media users had been strongly one sided for Remain. Experts say the divergence was due to the demographic profile of Twitter users specifically, young people and men, who are more likely to engage in political debate online.

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What they said?

As the results rolled in and as sterling fell, following the overwhelming result in favour of Leave in Sunderland, so the tone on social media grew more sombre, angry and disbelieving:





Since the result social media users have reacted with a mix of shock, gloating and humour…




Many across the world also got involved in the conversation, on China’s Weibo platform the hashtag #UKEUReferendum gained more than 85m views.

One user wrote “The whole world is watching the Brexit vote. I think socialism is still the better system,”

What now?

It seems that many were confused about the consequences of an out vote with Google Trends reporting a 250% increase in people searching “what happens if we leave the EU” as well as a huge spike in terms such as “How to emigrate” and “How to get an Irish passport”

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The hashtag #WhatHaveWeDone and the terms David Cameron, Boris and Nicola Sturgeon now trending.