“What is the EU?” and other stupid questions voters asked after polls closed
The EU referendum is finally over. The vote hasn’t fallen on the side I was backing, but that’s just how democracy works. With such a marginal result, it’s clear that the nation was hugely divided on the issue, with Scotland, Northern Ireland, London and most cities backing Remain.
In the run-up to the Brexit vote, Google used search data to predict the outcome of a Leave vote. While I disagreed with many of its methods – largely due to how people use the internet to find information – it showed that Google has the capacity to know all.
Now, though, since polls closed at 10pm last night, the Google Trends Twitter account has been spewing data-driven facts out into the world – and it’s painting a grim picture of an uninformed public. It seems that, according to Google searches and some anecdotal evidence from those speaking to Leave voters, many people had no idea what it was they had just voted for.
Things got worse as the night progressed, with many beginning to search for ways out of the UK as it started to become apparent that we may actually be leaving the EU.
In fact, when the results were close to confirmed, searches around “buy gold” and “pound sterling” skyrocketed. Then people started to worry about what was going to come next…
The world turned its attention to the UK and Europe, wondering just what the hell was going on in our tiny, incredibly divided country.
It seemed that even we didn’t know what had happened.
And, most worryingly of all, people are still unsure what this really means and what the EU actually did for us.
Cheers, people of Britain – well at least 51.9% of you – it’s good to see you’re doing some research on the EU referendum. Shame you couldn’t have done it before you voted.