UK-EU referendum Twitter data

Cram, Laura and Llewellyn, Clare (2017). UK-EU referendum Twitter data. [Data Collection]. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive. 10.5255/UKDA-SN-852513

Continued UK membership of the European Union (EU), at least on the current terms of membership, increasingly appears to be in question. Traditionally an 'awkward partner' in the EU (George 1990), the UK as a whole has exhibited consistently low levels of attachment to the EU in cross- national opinion surveys. Prime Minister Cameron has promised that in the event of a Conservative victory in 2015, he will hold a referendum on continued EU membership of his country. At the same time, the UK Independence Party (UKIP), an avowedly Eurosceptic party, became the UK's largest party - with one third of the UK's seats - at the European Parliament elections of 2014. Yet, polls show support for EU membership in the UK to be peaking at its highest level in more than two decades (for example, IPSOS MORI Political Monitor, October 2014). Support for staying in the EU is highest in London (66%) and Scotland (60%). This poses a crucial dilemma to any vote- seeking political actor with anti-EU aspirations: how much does one move in the direction of proposing an anti-EU vision to a relatively Eurosceptic public, before one triggers a pro-EU backlash among the same public? Understanding how individual attachment to the EU is shaped and how context interacts with, and impacts upon, that attachment are matters of considerable contemporary interest to political elites, policy-makers and the general public. Recent advances in transdisciplinary methods, offer significant potential for the social sciences to make a unique contribution to explaining and predicting the responses of the public to changing political contexts and policy environments. Extensive opinion poll data exists but there is, as yet, no widely reported-on indirect political metric or psychological equivalent to, for example, Yougov or Panelbase. Drawing on extensive existing material (including experimental self-reports, physiological (hormone) testing data, neurological data from fMRI scanning and behavioural data) the applicant will address this gap in public knowledge in relation to EU developments. In addition, the shifting mood of the public on EU-related matters will be tracked throughout the period of the fellowship. Twitter analytics including sentiment- ratings, will be monitored; a visual twitter 'gallery', of photo, video and vine will be made accessible to policy-makers, political elites and to the wider public using novel applications of social media, direct collaboration with the mainstream media, and a public art installation as well as more traditional user engagement strategies. On a smaller scale, to keep coverage of what will be a rapidly shifting landscape current, some innovative ongoing research will be conducted. Continued UK membership of the European Union (EU), at least on the current terms of membership, increasingly appears to be in question. Traditionally an 'awkward partner' in the EU (George 1990), the UK as a whole has exhibited consistently low levels of attachment to the EU in cross- national opinion surveys. Prime Minister Cameron has promised that in the event of a Conservative victory in 2015, he will hold a referendum on continued EU membership of his country. At the same time, the UK Independence Party (UKIP), an avowedly Eurosceptic party, became the UK's largest party - with one third of the UK's seats - at the European Parliament elections of 2014. Yet, polls show support for EU membership in the UK to be peaking at its highest level in more than two decades (for example, IPSOS MORI Political Monitor, October 2014). Support for staying in the EU is highest in London (66%) and Scotland (60%). This poses a crucial dilemma to any vote- seeking political actor with anti-EU aspirations: how much does one move in the direction of proposing an anti-EU vision to a relatively Eurosceptic public, before one triggers a pro-EU backlash among the same public? Understanding how individual attachment to the EU is shaped and how context interacts with, and impacts upon, that attachment are matters of considerable contemporary interest to political elites, policy-makers and the general public. Recent advances in transdisciplinary methods, offer significant potential for the social sciences to make a unique contribution to explaining and predicting the responses of the public to changing political contexts and policy environments. Extensive opinion poll data exists but there is, as yet, no widely reported-on indirect political metric or psychological equivalent to, for example, Yougov or Panelbase. Drawing on extensive existing material (including experimental self-reports, physiological (hormone) testing data, neurological data from fMRI scanning and behavioural data) the applicant will address this gap in public knowledge in relation to EU developments. In addition, the shifting mood of the public on EU-related matters will be tracked throughout the period of the fellowship. Twitter analytics including sentiment- ratings, will be monitored; a visual twitter 'gallery', of photo, video and vine will be made accessible to policy-makers, political elites and to the wider public using novel applications of social media, direct collaboration with the mainstream media, and a public art installation as well as more traditional user engagement strategies. On a smaller scale, to keep coverage of what will be a rapidly shifting landscape current, some innovative ongoing research will be conducted. Continued UK membership of the European Union (EU), at least on the current terms of membership, increasingly appears to be in question. Traditionally an 'awkward partner' in the EU (George 1990), the UK as a whole has exhibited consistently low levels of attachment to the EU in cross- national opinion surveys. Prime Minister Cameron has promised that in the event of a Conservative victory in 2015, he will hold a referendum on continued EU membership of his country. At the same time, the UK Independence Party (UKIP), an avowedly Eurosceptic party, became the UK's largest party - with one third of the UK's seats - at the European Parliament elections of 2014. Yet, polls show support for EU membership in the UK to be peaking at its highest level in more than two decades (for example, IPSOS MORI Political Monitor, October 2014). Support for staying in the EU is highest in London (66%) and Scotland (60%). This poses a crucial dilemma to any vote- seeking political actor with anti-EU aspirations: how much does one move in the direction of proposing an anti-EU vision to a relatively Eurosceptic public, before one triggers a pro-EU backlash among the same public? Understanding how individual attachment to the EU is shaped and how context interacts with, and impacts upon, that attachment are matters of considerable contemporary interest to political elites, policy-makers and the general public. Recent advances in trans-disciplinary methods, offer significant potential for the social sciences to make a unique contribution to explaining and predicting the responses of the public to changing political contexts and policy environments. Extensive opinion poll data exists but there is, as yet, no widely reported-on indirect political metric or psychological equivalent to, for example, Yougov or Panelbase. Drawing on extensive existing material (including experimental self-reports, physiological (hormone) testing data, neurological data from fMRI scanning and behavioural data) the applicant will address this gap in public knowledge in relation to EU developments. In addition, the shifting mood of the public on EU-related matters will be tracked throughout the period of the fellowship. Twitter analytics including sentiment- ratings, will be monitored; a visual twitter 'gallery', of photo, video and vine uploads, will be analysed, curated and made available using Storify; and facial-coding of emotional responses to EU-related topics will be examined in collaboration with crowdEmotion.

Data description (abstract)

This data collection consists of Tweet IDs collected on the UK-EU referendum between September 2015 and August 2016. The aim, during this fellowship, was to provide a unique trans-disciplinary contribution to the debate about the relationship between the UK and the European Union. The outputs from this fellowship will contribute to the programme's focus on attitudes towards the EU, including intra-UK regional variations in attitudes to the EU. Innovative interdisciplinary data sources on social and political attitudes to the EU and their drivers will be mined and analysed. The findings will be made accessible to policy-makers, political elites and to the wider public using novel applications of social media, direct collaboration with the mainstream media, and a public art installation as well as more traditional user engagement strategies. On a smaller scale, to keep coverage of what will be a rapidly shifting landscape current, some innovative ongoing research will be conducted.

Data creators:
Creator NameEmailAffiliationORCID (as URL)
Cram, LauraLaura.Cram@ed.ac.ukUniversity of EdinburghUnspecified
Llewellyn, ClareC.A.Llewellyn@sms.ed.ac.ukUniversity of EdinburghUnspecified
Sponsors: Economic and Social Research Council
Grant reference: ES/N003985/1
Topic classification: Politics
Keywords: Twitter, UK-EU, Referendum
Project title: The European Union in the Public Imagination: Maximising the Impact of Transdisciplinary Insights
Grant holders: Laura Cram
Project dates:
FromTo
1 June 201531 May 2016
Date published: 26 Jan 2017 10:38
Last modified: 26 Jan 2017 10:39

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