VOXTER - What do people really think about the EU referendum?

Voxter Brexit Report No. 1

The Voice


The Voice

The recent announcement of the the Brexit referendum has got the nation talking and that gave the Voxter team a great idea:

What would happen if you got a representative sample of the UK online to talk about Brexit? What would they say? What are the arguments? Which side is more convincing?

So we set out and did just that:

"Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?"

872 people  
26,341 reads

The data generated from this research provides us with a unique insight into the psyche of UK voters and how we think and talk about the EU.

Every week we will release more fascinating facts about how the UK thinks and talks about Brexit.


In any discussion not everyone is active and to appreciate what is going on it is important to know how representative is the content that we actually hear.

So as a first step, even before seeing what people say, we decided to have a look at how vocal different groups in the UK are*.

Battle of the Sexes?

Men were 40% more vocal in our EU debate.

Now you might ask why is it interesting to see how men and women differ in the debate about the EU. After all we face the same dilemma!

But recent research from think-tank British Future has discussed some interesting differences.

In our next report we will focus more on those differences. But given these differences we should be worried that women’s voice might not be equally represented in the debate.

Older, wiser, louder?

What about the generational divide? The polls all agree that age is a major predictor of voting intentions about the EU; The fifty five and over are pro-Leave while the young are substantially more pro-Remain. But are these different groups equally represented in the debate?

Usually it is the young ones who make the most noise, but our research shows that:

Those aged 55 and older were almost three times more vocal than 18-34 year olds!

Those between 35 and 54 are almost twice as vocal as the 18-34 year olds!

Leave versus Remain and political divides

The above facts were interesting as they provide us with some measure of how representative is the debate in terms of different groups in society. But a more direct question might be about the political camps.

Those supporting "Leave" are 40% more vocal than those in favour of "Remain".

Ukip supporters are the most vocal, followed by Conservatives, with Labour being the least vocal.

What have we learned?

It is fascinating that without even seeing what people actually say we can already get a good indication of the kinds of biases in the discussions we hear around us. We have a tendency to treat what we hear as if it is a uniform representation of societal views, but when you look more carefully you see that some get their voices across and others don’t.

Of course to make more sense of what this means, we need to go deeper, reading what people have to say, what effect it has, and try and understand why some choose to be more quiet than others. This is exactly what we plan to do every week in this blog.

*We measure voice by the average number of statements that each demographic group contributed to the discussion. Our field research took place on 22-23 February.


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