The analysis of Alkemy Lab on social conversations in the aftermath of the constitutional referendum

Alkemy Lab presents the results of the analysis on the constitutional referendum carried out under the DEEP research project, in collaboration with Catchy and Kode Solutions

To the last chapter of the referendum is dedicated the article "Dai social alle urne: la vittoria del No conferma le tendenze”, published online on riotta.it and that you can read below.


#Havintolademocrazia is the most popular statement on Twitter after the frantic night of December 4. It won the democracy, say the No supporters during the celebrations. But it won the democracy even for the many who really believed in the Yes.

The data on turnout is clear: the 65,47% of Italians chose to take sides mostly for the No. The one of Sunday, December 4, was certainly an example of participatory democracy.

Compared with the other two constitutional referendum in the history of our Republic, the referendum of - and on - Renzi prevailed for participation. In 2001, when the referendum approved the modification of the Title V of the Constitution, only the 34,1% of italian citizens went to vote; in 2006 voted the 52,5%.

In last Sunday's referendum, the turnout exceeded 50% in all Italian regions. In some cases it far exceeded the 50%.

Veneto, where the 76,7% of the population went to the polls , is the region with the highest participation. It follows the Emilia Romagna with the 75,9%. Similar in turnout, Veneto and Emilia Romagna, however, differ in the results. In the first region it has trumped the No, while the Yes dominated in Romagna. A fact that seems to testify that there isn’t a close correlation between the turnout and the choice of the voters for one or for the other front.

A lower percentage of turnout was recorded in the southern regions. In particular, it is attested to below 60% in Campania, with 58,9% of voters, in Sicily with 56,7%, and Calabria, which with its 54,4% was the region with the lower turnout.

Except for a few notable exceptions, the No to the constitutional reform prevailed all over the country. Sardinia is the region where the No obtained the highest percentage of votes, with the 72,2%. Follows Sicily with 71,6%. The two islands are the ones, thus, that guide the front opposed to the reform, followed by all the other southern regions.

In the North, the No gets great results in Veneto, with 61,9%, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, with 61%, and Liguria, with 60,1%.

Between the Centre and the North also are located the only three regions in which predominated the Yes: the Emilia Romagna, with the 50,4% of votes that supported the reform; the Tuscany with 52,5%, and the Trentino Alto Adige, which with 53,9% is the region that more than anything wanted that the Constitution would have changed.

The Yes and No marked in the voting booth are enriched in meaning if we consider the expressions used by the citizens on social networks after the vote.

The slogans # bastaunsì and #iovotono, that accompanied the entire campaign, disappeared, and after #havintolademocrazia, Matteo Renzi and Maria Elena Boschi are the two great protagonists of tweets on the #postreferendum. Accompanying the speech of the Premier many critics are writing #Ciaonematteo.

"As was evident and obvious from the first day, the experience of my government ends here," said Renzi from Palazzo Chigi.

In the third place, among the most used hashtag in the conversations on the post referendum, there is Matteo Salvini. He is one of the first opponents of the reform to celebrate the victory requiring new elections.

Salvini wrote in a tweet: "On Sunday the Italians said: 'The emperor has no clothes'. TIME TO VOTE, with any electoral law".

An invitation to vote that reopens an issue dear to analysts: he'll take the reins of the Right camp?

In conversations collected between 3 and 4 of December, the social network left no doubt. On Twitter 78,3% of the discussions on the referendum was linked to the campaign for the No. An overwhelming fact, which follows the one which in these days occupied the pages of newspapers and television programs: a clear preference for the No expressed by young people.

Among the most used words in the hot hours it emerges "Renzi", clear fulcrum of the reform, accompanied by the slogan-hashtags of the two campaigns. There was also discussion about Europe and Brexit. The No to the constitutional reform it has been interpreted by many people, especially in the international context, as a step towards a possible exit of Italy from Europe. The No has indeed increased the power and the awareness of the Italian anti-European forces. It enters in the discussions even Austria, a sign of how citizens also followed the events of the country that, just on December 4, said its Yes to Europe by electing as President the Green Van der Bellen.

A controversy that turned the hearts and that is summarized in the word "pencil" is the affair of the supposed erasable pencils delivered to polling stations to vote. A psychosis corroborated by the singer Piero Pelù, which was soon spread in Italy, transforming the polling stations in hives of controversy and coloring the too quiet Sunday of the election.

Text, data analysis and graphics, edited by Alice Andreuzzi, Lorenzo Coscarella and Nicola Piras, implemented under the DEEP project of Alkemy Lab, in collaboration with Catchy and Kode Solutions.