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‘Boris effect’ failing as negativity towards Brexit rises SINCE he emerged as 'Out Campaign' leader

The odds on Britain remaining in the EU have risen since Boris Johnson emerged as leader of the ‘out’ campaign, according to

The high-tech data platform has tracked around one million online conversations this year on Brexit and can reveal that negative feeling towards the UK leaving Europe has actually increased since the London Mayor’s shock announcement on February 21.

Prior to this date, 52 per cent of the chatter around Britain leaving the EU was negative – despite Boris’ perceived popularity, this figure has risen to 53 per cent since he decided to lead the out campaign.

Click to see full-size chart

Click to see full-size chart is capable of tracking more than 22bn data messages a day from more than 1.6m web sources, including blogs, news streams and social platforms such as Twitter, and has been tracking the EU debate since mid-2015.

The platform shows that while Boris may be failing to sway the vote in his favour, he has undoubtedly raised the profile of the debate, with the number of Brexit conversations increasing five-fold from 8,000 per day to 40,000 in the last fortnight.

Click to see full-size chart

The volume and sentiment of conversation on social media has become an essential indicator of public feeling and can show that it was far more accurate than the polls in predicting the last UK General Election.

Leading up the Election, social media conversation analysed by sentiment showed that the Tories were head and shoulders above the Labour party, generating far more positive conversation in the months before the vote.

If the same principle is applied to the Brexit battle, the UK looks set to stay in the EU, albeit more narrowly than most would expect.

Gareth Mann, CEO of said: “Analysing social media channels has become an extremely accurate and efficient way of measuring public sentiment and will soon replace polls as the most reliable way of predicting political outcomes.

“People are far more likely to voice honest opinions on social media over an extended time period and these opinions can be steadily monitored, removing the desirability bias associated with polls. This term refers to the tendency of survey respondents to answer questions in a manner that will be viewed favourably by others – and is where the pollsters fell down during the UK elections.  

“Unlike polls, big data can account for a million opinions over several months, and according to current online chatter, voters are leaning towards staying in the EU.”

Overall, social media conversation around Brexit peaked on February 21 when around 70,000 people in the UK were discussing the subject online. Since then, the total volume of chatter has dropped by around 40 per cent.

How does work?

The big data engine from captures and curates your desired information from over 1.6m web sources, finding and storing, on average, over 500 social media messages per second (up to 10,000 at peak times), depending on subject. The platform is capable of processing up to 22bn of these messages per day.

Information is collected from social media, blogs and news sites across any given sector and then defines your requirements of the collated data using sentiment (the rants and raves - positive, negative or neutral opinions), relevancy and various influential weighting signals (such as people, events and places). The engine distills all the big data noise into valuable indicators, patterns, trends, and predictive metrics then delivers it directly to users.

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