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June on Social Media

Is it coming home?

This month, the FIFA World Cup enthralled the UK public. It was noticed by 19% and 25% in the penultimate and final two weeks of the month respectively. World Cup matches themselves featured prominently in the public’s trends on Twitter and Google searches in the latter half of June. The excitement is only set to build after England beat Colombia on penalties to secure a quarter-final meeting with Sweden this weekend.

Businesses bite back over Brexit

PM Theresa May faced down opposition from within her own party this month, as the EU Withdrawal Bill, having been defeated 15 times in the House of Lords, returned to the House of Commons. It finally received Royal Assent on 26 June, and is now an Act of Parliament. The topic prompted fresh calls for clarity from businesses. The British Chambers of Commerce this month published a list of 23 ‘real-world’ questions that it said need urgent answers as the UK’s EU exit rapidly approaches. Populus’s Head of Syndicated Stakeholder Research, reflects on this in his summary of this month’s most noticed business news stories, which includes another round of retail collapses and desperate corporate restructurings, writing that retailers and manufacturers are crying out for strong leadership.

Businesses aren’t alone in their concerns. Brexit weighed heavily on the public’s minds too. The topic consistently featured in the top 3 most noticed news stories every week throughout the entirety of June. Populus’s Will Clothier’s analysis of which news stories captured the public’s attention finds that older men are more likely to recall Brexit as a top story than other demographics.

The spotlight on Trump

Donald Trump courted the top trends and stories on social media. By the middle of the month, over a third (34%) of the UK public cited the meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un as their most noticed news story. The President met with the North Korean leader in Singapore for the first face-to-face meeting between sitting American and North Korean leaders.

Trump remained in the limelight throughout the month however. The Trump administration’s controversial policy of separating families at the border was, cited by a fifth (20%) of the UK public in the third week of the month. The policy received widespread global condemnation, and the President succumbed to mounting pressure, eventually signing an executive order to end the policy.

The tide turns on medicinal cannabis as the NHS turns 70

The medicinal cannabis review featured in the public’s most noticed news stories in June after the question over whether to legalise cannabis for medical use was posed, following two high-profile cases of epilepsy sufferers. In the first part of an evidence review ordered by the home secretary, Sajid Javid, Professor Dame Sally Davies recommended medicinal cannabis be moved out of schedule one – a group of drugs considered to have no medical purposes that cannot be legally possessed or prescribed. New research published by Populus finds that the majority (61%) of MPs are in favour of the legalisation of cannabis for medical use.

June saw the run-up to the NHS’s 70th birthday. To mark this milestone, Populus undertook research on behalf of Hanover to track public opinion of the organisation, finding that a significant majority (72%) agree that the NHS provides “comprehensive and accessible high quality care.

And finally, love was in the air this month. Or rather, in the search terms. #LoveIsland topped the most searched for terms on Google, and trends on Twitter, in the first week of the month.

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