Predicting Brexit: Classifying Agreement is Better than Sentiment and Pollsters

Fabio Celli, Evgeny Stepanov, Massimo Poesio, Giuseppe Riccardi


Abstract
On June 23rd 2016, UK held the referendum which ratified the exit from the EU. While most of the traditional pollsters failed to forecast the final vote, there were online systems that hit the result with high accuracy using opinion mining techniques and big data. Starting one month before, we collected and monitored millions of posts about the referendum from social media conversations, and exploited Natural Language Processing techniques to predict the referendum outcome. In this paper we discuss the methods used by traditional pollsters and compare it to the predictions based on different opinion mining techniques. We find that opinion mining based on agreement/disagreement classification works better than opinion mining based on polarity classification in the forecast of the referendum outcome.
Anthology ID:
W16-4312
Volume:
Proceedings of the Workshop on Computational Modeling of People’s Opinions, Personality, and Emotions in Social Media (PEOPLES)
Month:
December
Year:
2016
Address:
Osaka, Japan
Venues:
PEOPLES | WS
SIG:
Publisher:
The COLING 2016 Organizing Committee
Note:
Pages:
110–118
Language:
URL:
https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/W16-4312
DOI:
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PDF:
http://aclanthology.lst.uni-saarland.de/W16-4312.pdf