At Southend News Network, we have been tinkering with Facebook Live and opinion polling in the last few weeks, and so we thought that it would be a bit of a giggle to promote our latest Brexit ‘news story‘ with a very simple poll asking how people would vote if there was a second referendum. 

However, what started out as a bit of a ‘piss take’ suddenly started spreading like wildfire – perhaps it is still a bit of a touchy subject! You can see the whole four hours here if you don’t believe us 🙂

By the end of the Facebook-imposed four-hour maximum for live streams, more than 100,000 people had decided to cast their votes and the video had reached more than 4.5m people in their news feeds which is crazy when our Facebook page has a shade under 30,000 fans in total. Our software couldn’t handle votes getting into five figures – we apologise for that. 

The moment when the live vote crept over 100,000 votes in total …

Perhaps the most surprising part was the final total. We took a look at around 10pm as people were still voting on the ‘replay’ video, and there had been around 117,500 votes at that point. 

The result was a resounding 67% to LEAVE (with 33% for REMAIN – we didn’t count the people reacting with a ‘haha’ face). 

A number of people were commenting that the voting mechanism was heavily skewed in favour of ‘leave’ as the ‘like’ button was easier to access, but if you watch the four-hour replay video (we wouldn’t recommend it) you will see that both sides have a large majority at one point or another. Also, the automated system only counted single votes. 

The Facebook Live vote concept will always have its flaws, and it is entirely possible that a large group of Brexiteers started some kind of flash campaign to get people voting on the video, but with such a high number of votes and the swings it could also be argued that a large section of society was represented. 

If you look at the comments (there are more than 32,000 of them) it is also clear that people are still very keen to put their opinion across. A few people messaged our Facebook page to ask why we were reopening old wounds, but we can honestly say that once again it was an example of a Southend News Network ‘joke’ that got out of hand. #sorrynotsorry. We’ll leave the heavy analysis to the experts …