The ‘Brexit Diaries’ is an acclaimed qualitative study on post-Brexit public opinion.

Tom Clarkson explains the four segments that make up Brexit Britain and why Tony Blair has labelled this research “required reading”.

What you’ll learn
  • A clear understanding of current political opinion on Brexit
  • A new analytical prism for interpreting Brexit Britain, in the form of four segments
  • Detailed discussion of the implications for brands
  • An overview of how a ‘small data’ approach can deliver important insights

At the start of 2017, insight and strategy consultancy BritainThinks began a ‘small data’ qualitative research project to better understand the implications of Brexit for its clients, and to provide a clearer perspective on how to communicate with the public in a shifting political landscape.

The result was the ‘Brexit Diaries’. BritainThinks asked 52 Leave voters and 48 Remain voters to keep a weekly news diary through an online community from January to March 2017 when Article 50 was triggered. Researchers immersed themselves in the participants’ interactions with current affairs for three months, allowing them to capture in-the-moment reactions to political news stories. This provided a unique insight into participants’ perspectives on news, showing which issues cut through and which slipped under the radar.

The Brexit Diaries identified four Brexit Britain segments, ranging from Devastated Pessimists to Cautious Optimists, and described clear implications for brands.

BritainThinks has continued to update the study – using it as the basis for further research on behalf of its clients – as well as quantifying and tracking the four segments to show how the public mood is changing as the Brexit process continues.

The research has received widespread coverage and acclaim, with former Prime Minister Tony Blair labelling it “required reading”. It has delivered a step-change in understanding post-Brexit public opinion, as well as demonstrating how a relatively simple qualitative research approach can deliver ground-breaking insights.


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Tom Clarkson is one of the leading experts on post-Brexit public opinion in the UK. An advisor to political parties, government, world-leading brands, charities and think tanks, Tom has led a number of both publically available and privately commissioned studies on Brexit – including the acclaimed Brexit Diaries.

He has written articles on post-Brexit public opinion for media outlets, including the Guardian and the Observer, and has been interviewed by numerous international broadcasters. More recently, he presented on “What does current political opinion mean for brands?” at this year’s AURA conference for client-side market researchers.


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