"Could the brands you like reveal the way you are likely to vote?"
That's one of the questions brought up by a new analysis of the consumer preferences of tens of thousands of Brexit and Remain voters.
In the last few weeks political experts have attempted to chart and explain the divisions in British society exposed by the referendum vote to leave the EU. A broad range of factors have been considered, including class, location and income.
Now another perspective has come from the world of advertising, and based on research into the brands which are the most liked or used by “Brexiters” and “Remainers”. It suggests there are other cultural differences between the two sides beyond their attitude towards EU.
Researchers looked at the data gathered by polling organisation YouGov and have created lists of the brands which are most highly regarded or used by Leave and Remain voters.
The raw data for this came from the tens of thousands of people whose opinions on a range of subjects - including their response to around 1,200 brands - are closely tracked by YouGov on an ongoing basis. Since the referendum around 108,000 of those individuals have also been asked how they voted. The preferences of those who didn’t vote in the referendum were not analysed.
"We were able to cross reference the consumer preferences of more than 100,000 people, which we were already following, with how those people said they voted in the referendum," says YouGov Associate Director, Holly Travis. "There are many shops and brands which most people use. But the brands on the top 10 lists are the brands which are most indicative of how people voted. These are the brands with which the two sets of voters, Brexit and Remain, have the greatest affinity."
Top 10 brands: Leave voters
1. HP Sauce
3. ITV News
4. The Health Lottery
5. Birds Eye
7. Sky News
8. Cathedral City
9. PG Tips
10. Richmond sausages
Top 10 brands: Remain voters
2. BBC iPlayer
4. London Underground
8. Virgin Trains
Chief Strategy Officer Emily James said: "Factors such as age and income play a key role. This piece of analysis reveals a division between Old Britain vs New Britain, of an older, traditional more working class Britain vs a younger more digitally connected, more internationally facing generation."
"If you look at a bottle of HP sauce you see an image of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster; an iconic brand representing a powerful image of British democracy. Bisto and Richmond sausages are traditional English brands representing homely England. Tea also had to be on that list!
"Those who voted Leave are inclined to prefer a culture that is distinctively British and in which they and their friends grew up. It feels familiar and comfortable to them."
Professor Curtice added that the brand choices from the Remain camp were just as indicative of the "much more digitally connected, younger and highly educated demographic" that supplied the core of support for the EU.
"It's also not surprising that they (remainers) like to travel and explore - albeit with a budget airline as their incomes are often quite stretched - just what you would expect of a group of predominantly younger people who are used to being to travelling freely to Europe (and beyond.)”