RISE OF THE MOGG: ECJ backlash leads to surge in support for Rees-Mogg as PM

JACOB Rees-Mogg has seen a huge surge in support for a potential bid to become the next Tory leader, according to analysis of social media activity.

Brexit campaigners have expressed their outrage after it was suggested the European court of justice (ECJ) could still play a role in British affairs after March 2019.

According to researchers at Signify, four times as many Brexit supporters than Remain voters shared articles about the ECJ on networks such as Facebook.

And 83 per cent of those expressed negative sentiment about the court.

Analysis of social media activity also revealed the promotion of controversial issues such as the ECJ now seems to be behind a wave of online support for any Tory politicians who have called for a so-called ‘hard Brexit’.

Jacob Rees-Mogg

European Court of Justice

The European court of justice (ECJ) could still play a role in British affairs

Joe Harrod, chief operating officer of Signify, said: “The issue is a proxy for sovereignty and control, and has become a tool for galvanising Tory Brexiteers and Ukip supporters, coalescing their support around Jacob Rees-Mogg.

“It’s hard for remainers to get traction on this topic because all their arguments are about process and statutes, while many leave voters genuinely regard sovereignty and the rule of Brussels as a red line issue. It’s a perfect topic to energise that base.”

On Twitter, the ECJ became the second hottest Brexit topic over the last fortnight, even overtaking immigration.

But the research also shows public understanding of the hot issues remains limited.

And Mr Harrod also said the research suggested there could now be a resurgence in support for Ukip as Labour also softens its Brexit message.

He added: “The ECJ is a boring issue brought to life by personalities, especially Rees-Mogg – which makes it a perfect topic for a network that has been coalescing behind him as a candidate for prime minister.

“Building outrage about red-line issues would seem to provide Ukip with a route back into the debate.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg leaflets

Jacob Rees-Mogg has seen a huge surge in support

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jacob Rees-Mogg is tipped as the next Tory leader
The research comes after a campaign to make Jacob Rees-Mogg 

Sam Frost, 23, set up the Ready for Rees-Mogg Facebook page, with his friend Anne Sutherland, after the general election left him “disappointed”, but support for the group snowballed.

Overnight, the group attracted 2,000 likes and £7,000 has since been raised towards the campaign to get Mr Rees-Mogg to run for the leadership.

 

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