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Here's What That Incredibly Viral Donald Trump Petition Says About British Opposition To Trump

More than a million people have signed the petition, but where do they come from and who are they?

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More than a million Britons have signed a petition calling for Donald Trump's forthcoming state visit to the UK to be cancelled following the announcement of his new immigration policy.

MIRROR: You are not welcome here Mr President #tomorrowspaperstoday

The petition has been wildly popular, dominating the headlines with the suggestion that the UK is rejecting Trump.

BuzzFeed News sampled the data shortly after the petition passed 1 million signatures, and ran a constituency-by-constituency analysis.

The darker the colour of the constituency on the map, the higher the number of people in that constituency who have signed the petition.

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In South East England, by far the strongest areas of anti-Trump sentiment are in Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton and central London. All have young, educated populations and relatively high social diversity, voted strongly Remain, and are among the only constituencies in the country which backed electoral reform in 2011's alternative vote referendum.

The other areas with particularly high levels of anti-Trump sentiment are central Birmingham, central Sheffield, central Manchester, parts of Leeds, York, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.

BuzzFeed News analysis found that a third of the total signatures came from just 100 constituencies, showing how opposition to Trump is spread unevenly across Britain.

This divide is particularly sharp in London.

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In Diane Abbott's Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency an enormous 6,717 people signed the petition in its first 48 hours. That means if you stopped someone in Stoke Newington there's a 1 in 20 chance they've signed this single petition.

But if you headed to the edge of London, to the Labour-held constituency of Dagenham and Rainham, where just 767 have signed the petition, you'd probably have to ask well over a hundred people before you met a single one who had signed it.

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In Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire, which both voted strongly Leave in the EU referendum, there are substantially fewer signatures on the anti-Trump petition.

petition.parliament.uk

Just 512 people in the Boston and Skegness constituency, which has been repeatedly covered as part of the UK's immigration debate, have signed the petition.

There's a similar story in Barnsley, where the town's two Labour MPs – Dan Jarvis and Michael Dugher – have repeatedly talked about their desire to reduce immigration. Across both constituencies, covering 190,000 people, just 1,116 have signed it.

That's not to say that people in these constituencies are pro-Trump. They may simply not be the sort of people who like signing online petitions or just not use the internet as much, and this is a self-selecting sample. But it does suggest people in these constituencies are not as virulently opposed to the idea of a Trump state visit as other parts of the UK.

The different reactions of the country also reveal the split in the Labour party between its traditional constituencies and its metropolitan equivalents. Here are the top 10 constituencies where the anti-Trump petition has been most popular.

Tom Phillips / BuzzFeed News

Nine of the constituencies are held by Labour MPs, with one held by the Green Party's Caroline Lucas.

According to BuzzFeed News estimates, these constituencies had an average Remain vote of 72% in the EU referendum, substantially above the national average.

Jeremy Corbyn's is likely to be responsible for a substantial number of the signatures. A spokesperson for the Labour leader told BuzzFeed News one link on his official Facebook account had sent 130,000 people to the petition.

Here are the 10 constituencies with the fewest number of signatures on the anti-Trump petition. Again, the majority are held by Labour.

Tom Phillips / BuzzFeed News

Of the 10 constituencies, seven are held by Labour, two by the Conservatives and one – Na h-Eileanan an Iar, also known as the Western Isles – by the SNP.

According to BuzzFeed News estimates, these constituencies had an average Remain vote of 38% in the EU referendum, substantially below the national average.

This list excludes Northern Irish constituencies, where people seem particularly reluctant to sign almost any UK parliament petition.

So can we work out whether there are areas of the UK which are actually pro-Trump?

petition.parliament.uk

That's less easy: A petition from December 2015 urging Donald Trump not to be banned from the UK attracted just 46,000 signatures.

Most support for Trump came from constituencies close to his Ayr and Aberdeenshire golf courses, suggesting people may be signing the petition in order to back their employer. But there were also pockets of support in the likes of Sunderland Central, Blackley and Broughton, Epping Forest, Folkestone and Hythe, Thurrock, and Wigan.

What we can conclude is that Britain is not completely unified in active opposition to Trump – at least when it comes to the geographic spread of people who express their anger by signing petitions.

Will this petition actually change anything then?

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Downing Street insists the visit will go ahead and said it is now up to parliament to decide whether to debate the petition.

"The invitation has been extended and has been accepted," said a spokesperson. "It is right that we continue to work together."

The spokesperson said they were “not answering that question” when asked whether Theresa May cared personally about the number of people who have signed petition.

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.

Chris Applegate is an editorial developer for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Chris Applegate at chris.applegate@buzzfeed.com.

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