Would a second Referendum on Brexit change the result?

A number of the Brexit (Leave) supporters are now unhappy with the actual outcome of the 23 June Referendum.

Is it because they were made aware of some new information? Apparently not all the promises that were made by the Leave campaign will be honored.

It is, however, possible that a second Referendum could change the result even if there were no new information about the consequences of a possible British EU exit. This possibility is to do with strategic thinking.

The typical voting model of a zero one decision (stay or leave the EU, in the present case) is such that all voters simply have a preference over the two outcomes. Some prefer to stay, some prefer to leave. If this is the case, voters do not have to engage in deep strategic thinking to simply vote their preference. In game theory jargon “voting for one’s preferred outcome is a (weakly) dominant strategy”.  The referendum will then simply demonstrate which of the two outcomes is favored by more people. Another referendum without any new information cannot change the result.

In the present case, however, many voters started googling “What is the EU?” only after the result of the Referendum became clear. Could it be that at least some of the leave voters did not really want to leave but simply wanted to make a statement of dissatisfaction? If this is the case, then some voters’ preferences could be as follows. Yes, they would prefer to stay in the EU, but they would like the result to be close. If you have such preferences and think that the result will be clearly in favor of staying in the EU – the bookies always saw Stay as the much more likely outcome – then you might cast your vote for the Leave campaign.

If enough people think so, then the ultimate outcome could be paradoxical. A majority of people vote to leave even though a majority of people actually prefer to stay. If this is the case a second referendum might correct this and reveal the true sentiment of British voters on the EU.