Brexit Vote Hinges on Football: Study

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Study done by Advanced Symbolics Inc., a well respected Data Science firm, shows that among undecided voters in Britain, "Football" is the number one discussed topic - discussed more than twice as often as The Economy.

While the media are focusing on the impact of an exit to jobs and immigration, the #1 topic being discussed online by the undecided voter is football

With the Brexit polls showing the “leave” and “stay” vote in a dead heat, a data science firm from Canada published a study to understand the main issues occupying the minds of the undecided voters who are most likely to determine the outcome of the referendum. And the result was a surprise to the scientists.

“While the media are focusing on the impact of an exit to jobs and immigration, the #1 topic being discussed online by the undecided voter is football” said Erin Kelly, CEO of data science firm Advanced Symbolics. “Politicians who are trying to influence the outcome of the vote had better get their game on.”

The company looked at a representative sample of 28,934 voting-age Britons on Twitter and analyzed all of their posts dealing with Brexit – almost 15 million Tweets. The company’s research shows that among undecided voters, football is being discussed more than twice as often as the next most popular topic: The Economy.

Advanced Symbolics made headlines in Canada last year by correctly predicting a win by the Trudeau government a full month before the election – when all other pollsters were predicting a win by the ruling Conservatives. The company makes its predictions by finding representative samples of the population through social media and by using “topic modeling” to understand the issues and opinions being expressed. The company holds patents on its technology, which have been peer reviewed by academics at several universities.

ASI’s research predicts the following outcome for referendum day (shown with margin of error):
Leave                         42.8 ± 1.3%
Stay                             42.6 ± 7.4%
Undecided                 14.5 ± 8.5%

The stay vote is much less stable than the leave vote. The company notes that telephone polling shows lower undecided votes because people are less likely to tell a person on the phone that they “don’t know.” It should also be noted that traditionally, people who are undecided are less likely to show up for the vote.

About Advanced Symbolics Inc.
Advanced Symbolics Inc. (ASI) is a data science company based in Ottawa, Canada. The company holds patented algorithms for data sampling that allows it to do market research on online samples similar to what is done by traditional pollsters by phone. Its topic modeling algorithms allow for the proper interpretation of what people are saying as well as their emotive sentiment. The technology allows for more accurate market research than traditional methods because it can look at the history of a subject’s social media posts to ascertain how committed the person is to their topic. ASI’s research has been peer reviewed and is used by leading brands for brand and market research.

For more information please contact: Erin Kelly, CEO, Advanced Symbolics Inc. +1.613.322.0631 or erin(dot)kelly(at)advancedsymbolics(dot)com

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Erin Kelly
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