What the #EUref campaigns say: 18 March 2016

We are continuing to see the lull before the designation of the official campaign groups and the start of the formal campaign groups. The leave and remain groups are seeking to refine their message and maintain or raise their profile during this period.

This week’s campaigns saw relatively few tweets from @StrongerIn (146) and @vote_leave (242), compared to @LeaveEUOfficial who tweeted 430 times. And also fewer that we have seen in preceding weeks.

Both leave campaigns were focused on building their campaign bases, with the majority of tweets promoting events and activities related to the campaign. While for @StrongerIN, although campaign related tweets remained important, it was the issue of business, trade and the economy, which dominated their tweets this week. We also saw more engagement on issues of politics, domestic (NHS, farming, travel etc) than the leave campaigns.

In contrast, security and immigration issues had only nominal mentions across all three of the main campaigns this week, with LeaveEUOfficial picking up most on this topic.

@StrongerIn also engaged with the opposing campaigns, as did @LeaveEUOfficial to a certain extent but @vote_leave paid relatively little attention to the remain campaigns.

In light of The Sun’s claim that the Queen supports Brexit, we would have expected to see this picked up by the campaigns. However, none of the three main campaigns make reference to the story and only LeaveEUOfficial mentions the Queen, in reference to a Commonwealth address:

‘Queen urges UK to support those who “feel excluded” in her annual message to mark #CommonwealthDay https://t.co/G7PHJb0mF0’

This suggests the groups are distancing themselves from the potential fallout from the story.

LeaveEUOfficial engaged with a new twitter group – @Uni4GO – composed of University students supporting the leave campaign. The tweets from @Uni4GO were among the only ones to engage specifically with what EU membership means for the UK.


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