An analysis by BrandsEye, a South African online reputation specialist that monitors conversations on social media to distil trends, has suggested the “Leave” campaign in Thursday’s British referendum could do better than the polls are suggesting.
Of those from Britain expressing their vote on social media, 56,9% are saying that they wish to leave the European Union, BrandsEye said on Thursday.
“This is in stark contrast to common sense, other polls and mainstream media, who all seem to be saying that the referendum will go the way of Britain remaining part of the EU,” the company’s CEO, JP Kloppers, said in a statement.
“When we ran the data through our BrandsEye Crowd technology to get to the heart of what people en masse were saying, we were very surprised, even shocked, at the results,” Kloppers said.
“How is it possible that 56,9% of Brits, according to social media, are in favour of leaving the EU?”
The company said there are two explanations for the result. The first is that social media in this instance may be too skewed towards the outspoken “Leave” camp. Secondly, the popularity of the “Leave” camp has been underestimated.
“As we have seen in the US with the rapid rise of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, we should not underestimate both the voice and influence of social media,” Kloppers said.
“On the other hand, as we’ve seen with Hillary Clinton, the critical mass of the silent majority is still a big unknown. In this regard, history would indicate that the shy Tories will go for the safe pragmatic option: Remain,” he said.
“We’ve seen it before, though: social media is often an exaggerated leading indicator of the direction in which the surprise will happen. In this case, I’m putting my bet onto the fact that the ‘Leave’ camp will take more ground than anyone thought. Whether they can take enough to win the referendum; that is the question,” Kloppers added. — © 2016 NewsCentral Media