A web page linking Leave.EU to Cambridge Analytica has been leaked online after being deleted in the wake of the Facebook scandal.
The data-mining company was exposed by whistleblower Christopher Wylie in the Observer for harvesting 50 million social media profiles of US voters which was used by Donald Trump’s adviser Steve Bannon in the election.
But Brexit links to the firm have largely been buried until now, with this Guardian article currently the subject of a legal complaint on behalf of SCLE and Cambridge Analytica.
It claims there was a close working relationship between Leave.EU and Cambridge Analytica.
Worryingly, it links both Vote Leave and Leave.EU’s data firms directly to Robert Mercer, the American billionaire who bankrolled Donald Trump.
But a leaked web page, which has been removed by Leave.EU but is stored on web archive, makes the link quite clear.
Published on the page “The Science Behind Our Strategy” and headed with political strategists Goddard Gunster it shows how Leave.EU employed the services of Cambridge Analytica to “help us map the British electorate and what they believe in, enabling us to better engage with voters”.
Goddard Gunster, a US advocacy firm headed up by Gerry Gunster and which uses the slogan “get used to winning”, was leveraged by Leave.EU to deliver Brexit in the referendum.
In this article, published in October 2015, Gunster acknowledged the need to make sure he has a good understanding of the British electorate, saying there are key elements to his method that work across the board, starting with qualitative and quantitative research.
Social media will also play a role, he said, helping spread the message “organically”.
Here’s the page that Leave.EU don’t want you to see:
After our press conference on Wednesday some of you asked for more information about our strategy towards the referendum so we thought we’d explain a few things.
Referendums are not elections. In an election, voters choose a person to represent them (even if you only vote for them because you agree with their party’s stance on certain issues), referendums on the other hand are votes based on a specific issue. As a nation, we have only had two in the last 50 years!
On the ballot paper there will be no politicians, celebrities or businesses. There will be one question, with two answers – ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’.
This is why we will be putting the issues front and centre and we’ve hired the best people in the world to help us make sure those messages are delivered by the right messenger and to the right voters.
Cambridge Analytica are world leaders in target voter messaging. They will be helping us map the British electorate and what they believe in, enabling us to better engage with voters. Most elections are fought using demographic and socio-economic data. Cambridge Analytica’s psychographic methodology however is on another level of sophistication. You can read more about their methodology on their website.
While Cambridge Analytica will be helping with the data, Goddard Gunster, who have fought some of the most contentious referendum campaigns all over the world (with a success rate of over 90%) will be helping us turn that data into a comprehensive strategy. Working alongside them will be Ian Warren, an expert on the issues that matter to people on lower incomes.
After all, Leave.EU is the people’s campaign, no voter should be left behind. This campaign is about the message, not the personality, as is so often the case with general elections. This is a referendum, and not any referendum. Britain’s membership of the EU affects her people in many different ways. That is why we believe the best people to persuade undecided voters are those in the field who know best, the destructive effect of the EU, and what Britain can achieve outside of it.
If you missed our press conference on Wednesday, you can watch it here.