How many UK expats living in the EU will be directly affected by Brexit?

matthew smithies
5 min readMar 28, 2019
Photo by Rob Curran on Unsplash

1,657,137 (approximately)

On the 20th of March 2019, the record breaking e-petition — Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU was opened. It went viral and gained millions of signers.

There have been questions whether the majority of votes had been generated by automated bots, others claimed that they had signed the petition multiple times.

With such a pivotal time in the history of the UK we are at an empass, there is a blank unknown wall in front of us, no one individual really knows what is going to happen after April 12th. Will there be another extension?

Only time will tell.

As a Software Developer, I found this data and the voting map from the e-petition fascinating.

More specifically it told us exactly how many individuals in a given constituency signed and how many individuals signed from different countries.

Wait a second.

If i know the percentage of voters of a given area, against the population, then find the average given all 650 constituencies I could estimate the expat population of a given country using its total votes.

Or perhaps?

Is it likely that the expat percentage population of total signers from a given country will be close to the percentage that has been inferred from the UK as a whole?

This theory switches the focus from the intelligence of an individual to collective intelligence pushing toward a single goal.

I have used similar techniques in my professional work:

  • How I helped Code for Cash 10x their job opportunities by using the collective intelligence recruiters and human resource staff.
  • How I gathered lists of linked professionals for outreach based on keyword targeting — individuals want to be found as they use keywords that relate to their niche.

These are some points that we need to consider:

  • There are around 5.9 million signers.
  • There is a barrier to entry, a requirement of email verification before a signature is cast.