After months of wall-to-wall coverage, one might think all Brits going to the polls on Thursday would at least have have known what a “Brexit” is. Not so, according to Google Trends data.
As polls closed Thursday night in the UK and votes for leaving or remaining in the European Union were tallied, Google saw massive spikes in searches for “What is Brexit?” and, even more alarmingly, “What is the EU?”—suggesting that at least some British voters didn’t really know what they were getting themselves into with this Brexit thing.
Google data also show that people in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales were wondering what leaving the EU exit meant for them.
British justice secretary Michael Gove commented earlier this month that the people of the UK had “had enough of experts.” But once the reality of Brexit starts to sink in, Brits may find they’ll need more than Google to explain the outcome.
Google Trends also indicates that some in the UK are appalled by the outcome of the vote, with a spike in a search that’s essentially the British equivalent of Americans threatening to move to Canada.