Above – Graph and text updated c 10.30 pm
In the twisting and turning of Brexit, yesterday (20th March), 9 days before the UK should have left the EU, the Government finally (after weeks of it being clear it was inevitable) sought to delay the date of leaving. The “Remain” grouping were hoping for a long delay (forever, preferably…) rather than the short 2 months requested to complete the Brexit deal, so were somewhat disappointed.
This led to a massive increase in discussion (in the Remain camp) about Revoking Article 50, the act passed by parliament to mandate leaving the EU, and a subsequent petition which has hit c 700,000 signatures at the time of writing this at 11 am (despite the site going down due to overload, partly by supporters crashing the site by “DDOS’ing” it to see where the count had got to).
We had a look at it this morning, this is a diagram based on daily tweet sampling, the blue line is “revoke” discussions, and as can be seen it is climbing rapidly (the “dip” today is because the data was from c 11 am today, by midnight today it should have overtaken yesterday’s value considerably).
- Update to post at c 1.30- there is now no dip, the rise is visible, as can be seen on the updated graph. The “revoke” trope has risen rapidly since we first sampled it at 11 this morning, nearly doubling in volume (which is also shown by the petition being signed by c 900,000 people).
- Update c 4.30 – growth has slowed since 1.30, Petition is now just over 1.0 m signatures but first reports of fake signatures are emerging (this always happens with popular petitions, the % of fakes is the key and this is not yet known)
- Update c 11 pm – slight pickup of growth after the commute home, but still much slower than this morning. Petition at c 1.8m signatures though, and this is a bit odd – a huge jump in signatures after a far lower rise in traffic. Causes unclear but could be large number of people signing up once they get home, backlog processing, or bot/vote stuffing or some combination. We will know more tomorrow.
But to give a sense of scale, last week’s discussion of a Brexit no-deal occurrence/avoidance/facilitation shows that “Revoke” is still fairly small beer, albeit growing (the petition notwithstanding), mainly because “Revoke” discussion is almost completeley limited to the Remain camp whereas “No Deal” is widely discussed by all sides. We would thus predict it won’t get to the same level as “No-Deal” which was heavily engaged by both sides
What is interesting is that the “Peoplesvote” trope, which has been the main “Remainer” hope for some months (see our previous post here) and had gained fresh impetus last week, has returned to normal volumes as “Revoke” has become the new Remain call to action.