Jingrong Tong (The University of Sheffield, UK)
Landong Zuo (Independent Researcher, UK)

The Brexit Referendum on Twitter

ISBN: 978-1-80043-295-6, eISBN: 978-1-80043-294-9

Publication date: 15 February 2021


Tong, J. and Zuo, L. (2021), "Prelims", The Brexit Referendum on Twitter, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xv.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021 Jingrong Tong and Landong Zuo. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited

Half Title Page

The Brexit Referendum on Twitter

Title Page

The Brexit Referendum on Twitter

A Mixed-Method, Computational Analysis

Jingrong Tong

The University of Sheffield, UK

Landong Zuo

Independent Researcher, UK

United Kingdom – North America – Japan India – Malaysia – China

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2021

© 2021 Jingrong Tong and Landong Zuo. Published under Exclusive License by Emerald Publishing Limited

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ISBN: 978-1-80043-295-6 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-294-9 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-296-3 (Epub)

List of Figures

Figure 1.1. Trend Over Time of Referendum Tweets One Month Leading to the Referendum Day.
Figure 1.2. Mapping the Overall Data Analysis Pipeline.
Figure 3.1. The Numbers of Original Tweets Sent by Nine Politician and Thirteen News Media Twitter Accounts and the Numbers of Retweets They Received before (and on) the Referendum Day (y-axis: Politician and Media Accounts; X-axis: Number of Tweets).
Figure 3.2. Referendum Stances of Politician Spoken News Sources Quoted by the News Media in Their Tweets.
Figure 4.1. Core Networks Surrounding @David_Cameron and @Nigel_Farage (Solid Black: pro-Brexit; Gradual Grey: pro-Remain; Stripy: Neutral).

List of Tables

Table 1.1. The Top 10 Most Popular Hashtags in the Pre-referendum Tweets.
Table 1.2. The Topics Suggested by the Key (Meaningful) Words (p ≤ 0.0000000).
Table 1.3. Twitter Handles of Nine Key British Politicians and Their Political Affiliations and Attitudes towards the Referendum.
Table 1.4. Thirteen Twitter Handles of Key British News Media and Their Attitudes towards the Referendum.
Table 4.1. Themes in the Tweets Published by (Key) Leave Users in @David_Cameron's Core Networks.
Table 4.2. Themes in the Tweets Published by (Key) Leave Users in @Nigel_Farage's Core Networks.
Table 4.3. Topics Emerging from LDA Topic Modelling of Tweets Mentioning @David_Cameron.
Table 4.4. Topics Emerging from LDA Topic Modelling of Tweets Mentioning @Nigel_Farage.


To Daniel

About the Authors

Jingrong Tong is Senior Lecturer in Digital News Cultures at the University of Sheffield. Her research focuses on the impact of digital technology on journalism, social media analysis and environmental communication.

Landong Zuo is an IT consultant and data scientist specialised in data mining, data analysis and Nature Language Processing. His research interests include data integration, analysis and visualisation in the fields of Semantic Web, Linked Data and Big Data.


Some content of the book, in particular, that in Chapter 3, is developed (reprinted) from our research article: “Mainstreaming populism through the Twitter practices of politicians and the news media: A case study of the 2016 Brexit referendum debates,” published by Information Polity in 2020. The publication is available at IOS Press through DOI: 10.3233/IP-190197. The authors would like to thank IOS Press for granting us the right to include the related content in this book. The authors want to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their comments. Thanks also go to the open-source applications including Twitter4J, Elasticsearch, Kibana, Gephi and Inskape, their contributors and Python communities online. The authors would like to thank Jen McCall of Emerald Publishing for her enthusiasm and support for this book project, which is our second book about Brexit and Twitter. The first one is Tweeting the Environment #Brexit, published in 2018 by Emerald.