The 23rd of June European Union Referendum is likely to go down in British political history as a watershed. Its significance derives from not only the implications of the result, but also the polarising nature of the voting patterns which can be seen comparing young to old, Scotland and London to Northern and Eastern England.
Marketing Metrix’s data on the geographical penetration of investors, subprime loan takers and charity donators and their geo-demographic profiling tool Citizen, begged to be utilised in light of the vote. They collected data showing the propensities of each area of the UK to leave, remain and spoil their ballot then investigated the profiles of each voter type.
There was a strong link between areas with a high percentage of remainers and a high incidence of investors. Those that study financial markets perhaps looked at the precipitous fall in sterling and the FTSE during the immediate run up to the vote and erred on the side of caution. Wholly unsurprisingly, a preponderance of investors live in London, including City of London, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea all with very high remain percentages ranging from 68% to 75%. The outliers being Slough in the South East and Brentwood in the East, voting out while having a high indexation of investors. Areas with the lowest index of investors are overwhelmingly within Scotland or Wales with the results matching what is already known about these areas i.e. Scottish areas voting to remain and Welsh areas voting to leave. But overall low investor populations suggest a far stronger leave vote.
The same trend was evident for charity donators, high indexation areas of charity donators correspond to a strong impetus to remain. Again, City of London crops up as having a very high penetration of charity donors alike areas in the South East notably Guildford and Waverley, all of which notably skewed towards the remain side. Areas in the North West such as St. Helens, Wigan and Tameside feature towards the lower end of charity donor population all having above 58% leave figures.
The relationship between voting preference and incidence of subprime loan customers takes the opposite direction, with a strong link between subprime loan takers and a desire to leave. Blackpool, Middlesbrough, Wolverhampton, Boston and Hartlepool, all strongholds of subprime activity, were all approximately 60% out. At the opposite end of the spectrum can be found City of London and parts of Scotland with a strong preference to remain.
Drawing on their state of the art profiling and segmentation tool Citizen, Marketing Metrix delved deeper into patterns in the data. Citizen is a tool that categorises the entire UK population into 6 segments and 28 sub-segments. These groups were generated using information such as direct mail & email usage, demographics, statistics, transactional histories and peripheral data indicators like distance to Waitrose or closed pubs to indicate measures of wealth. See the graphic on the next page for a visual representation.
The Rank and File segment contains skilled/unskilled workers across all age brackets who are homeowners, a lot of whom are suffering financial stress with a strong likelihood to have unsecured loans. Voting leave strongly distinguishes this group especially among blue collar sub-segments.
Comparing this to the Urbane Urbanites segment reveals a strong class divide with respect to voting. This segment comprises young professionals and educated Guardian reading students with a high propensity to give to charitable causes. The Perpetual Students, as they refer to them, were unanimously in agreement that we should stay, a trend mirrored across all sub-segments of this category. This clearly contrasts with the Winding Down segment, country dwelling individuals aged over 60 who are overwhelmingly debt free, with all but one segment highly indexed for leave.
The segment with the most intra variation is by far the Credit Crunchers, as the name suggests the group represents the lowest social demographic groups living in all regions apart from the South East and South West. The sub-segments which voted leave were more likely to be heavily indebted, while the sub-segments voting remain are an eclectic range including young and old who have exercised the right to buy scheme.
Marketing Metrix’s wealth of data, rigorous analytical techniques and robust profiling tools allow them to probe and investigate social trends as well as helping their clients comprehensively understand their customers. Their analysis confirms the polarised nature of voting patterns and digs deeper into surface trends. With many uncertainties surrounding the future of the UK, the power of data analysis techniques represents a predictable constant.