Senate Occasional Lecture Series

Public lunchtime lectures held at Parliament House in Canberra, on topics related to Parliament and governance. Transcripts, audio and television recordings of past lectures are also available.

Senate occasional lecture series

Analysing the Brexit debate through social media: topics, arguments, and attitudes

Professor Ken Benoit

Date: Friday 8 March 2019
Time: 12.15pm to 1.15pm
Location: Theatre, Parliament House

Prof. Ken Benoit

Text analysis of big data is an increasingly valuable tool to understand politics and political campaigns.

In this lecture Professor Kenneth Benoit reports on a project to track the trajectory of public opinion on the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum (Brexit) through analyses of social media conversation. Using a collection of over 35 million Tweets on Brexit and related topics starting from January 2016, the analysis focuses on the issues discussed during the period of the Brexit campaign, such as the immigration control, fiscal implications, and economic effects of leaving the EU. What can text analysis tell us about how arguments supporting the Remain and Leave sides were disseminated through social media?

Kenneth Benoit is Professor of Computational Social Science in the Department of Methodology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has held positions in the Department of Political Science at Trinity College Dublin and at the Central European University in Budapest.

His current research focuses on computational, quantitative methods for processing large amounts of textual data, mainly political texts and social media. Recent data large-scale measurement projects in which he has been involved include estimating policy positions of political parties through crowd-sourced data, expert surveys, manifesto coding, and text analysis.

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