AI-driven analysis reveals UK regional sentiment towards coronavirus lockdown restrictions easing.

Traditionally the 12th August has heralded the “Glorious 12th”, the official start date for the red grouse and ptarmigan shooting seasons across the UK. However, for residents of England, this year the Glorious 12th fell early on 12th April – the day on which after over three months of enforced lockdown closure, pubs, bars, and restaurants were able to open their doors to serving customers food and drinks outside their premises.

However, the enforcement of lockdown measures and roadmaps to easing restrictions have not been consistent across the UK with devolved governments able to set their own agendas.

At AMPLYFI, we have used our AI-driven insights technology to assess and compare the general mood of the nation toward the re-opening of pubs. The method involved using AI to assess and analyse the sentiment being expressed across key terms appearing in social media posts. For consistency, the assessment was conducted on posts occurring within a 10-mile radius of the centre of each capital city.

The results show distinct regional variations. The most positive sentiment is currently being expressed in London which is perhaps no surprise given that England was ahead in relaxing restrictions. Whilst Edinburgh exhibits strong representation across the sentiment spectrum, there is a strong positive element that is not present in Cardiff’s assessment which is largely neutral with a negative bias. Whilst each nation’s roadmap for easing restrictions currently target a re-opening date of 26th April, there is a subtle difference. The date for Wales is subject to a final review to be announced on 22nd April – just four days ahead of zero hour. This element of uncertainty is perhaps dampening any positive spirits. For Belfast where no such date (firm or otherwise) has currently been set, the sentiment is profoundly negative.

London

Edinburgh

Cardiff

Belfast

The 17th May is currently the target date for further easing of restrictions and allowing pubs, bars, and restaurants to serve customers indoors. We hope that when we update our analysis after that date, the sentiment is overwhelmingly positive for us all!