Heralded as one of the most important political decisions in British history, the EU referendum is not only a hot topic for residents up and down the country, but a hot topic on Google.
Searchers all over the UK have been turning to Google for answers. The top five questions on the referendum were: What is Brexit?, How do I vote in the EU referendum?, When is the EU referendum?, Who can vote in the EU referendum?, Will Brexit happen?.
Now the results are in, with 51.9% of voters voting leave versus 48.1% for remain, did Google correctly foresee this?
According to Google Trends, Google UK’s political search interest surprisingly shows a 53% margin for remain versus 47% for leave. Here it can be argued that Google foresaw a solid remain in the lead up to the referendum.
Yet, the search interest for “Leave” or “stay” (from 31.05.16 – 07.06.16) in the Google search was overwhelming. The blue sections as seen on the map here are for stay, and the red for leave. Here, the search interest was mostly accurate – on the exception of London (one of the few locations), which had a majority vote for remain in the end result.
This trend was reaffirmed with the real-time search of political interest, with an overwhelming 100% search interest for “leave” last night (23.06.16) at 20.30 GMT compared to only 41% for “remain”.
This begs the question: can Google be an accurate way of measuring and predicting future political decisions? Let us know what you think!