Who Is Winning The Social Media Election? Twitter Analysis of UK General Election 2015

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23 February 2015

Who Is Winning The Social Media Election?

If this really is the social media election, let’s look at which party is ‘winning’ their constituency.

If the elections were decided purely based on which candidate had the most Twitter Followers, the elections would look like this:

winning-party-twitter-followers

– The Labour Party gain the lead, (actually losing seats from their 2010 election result) but will require several other parties to make a coalition.

– Conservatives lose 100 seats, taking them back to the number of seats they won in 2005.

– Liberal Democrats make gains of 11 seats, (although personally I feel that looks fairly unlikely in the upcoming election).

– UK Independence Party (UKIP) gain an unprecedented 33 seats (from winning no constituencies in 2010).

– Green Party of England and Wales gain 20 seats from the 2010 election.

PartyNumber of Constituencies Won
Labour Party253
Conservative Party206
Liberal Democrats68
UK Independence Party (UKIP)33
Green Party21
Scottish National Party (SNP)20
Sinn F̩in8
Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales4
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition4
Ulster Unionist Party4
Independent4
Alliance - Alliance Party of Northern Ireland3
Class War2
The Respect Party2
English Democrats1
SDLP (Social Democratic & Labour Party)1
Something New1
Democratic Unionist Party - D.U.P.1
Pirate Party UK1
Scottish Green Party1
Conservative and Unionist Party1
No Twitter Data could be found11

What that last line means is that in 11 constituencies – none of the candidates had a Twitter account. In locations where no candidates are using social media, there is a huge advantage and potential gain for someone to take it up and start talking to their constituents.

Measuring anyone’s use of social media on Twitter followers alone is a huge oversimplification, especially for politicians., Sophie Warnes highlighted that most MPs have a large amount of fake followers.

As parliamentary candidates are supposed to represent the public in the constituencies, we also ran the data for who would win based on most tweets per day. It’s certainly not guaranteed, but the idea is that if these candidates are using Twitter to talk to more people more regularly, then they are potentially more committed to representing their constituents.

winning-party-tweets-per-day

PartyNumber of Constituencies Won
Labour Party222
Conservative Party120
Liberal Democrats70
UK Independence Party (UKIP)66
Green Party64
Scottish National Party (SNP)21
Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales10
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition9
Independent8
Sinn F̩in8
Scottish Green Party8
Alliance - Alliance Party of Northern Ireland5
Class War3
National Health Action Party3
The Respect Party3
English Democrats2
Conservative and Unionist Party2
Ulster Unionist Party2
Pirate Party UK2
Socialist Labour Party1
Patria1
Yorkshire First1
Mebyon Kernow - The Party for Cornwall1
Scottish Socialist Party1
Young People's Party YPP1
Guildford Greenbelt Group1
Something New1
The Eccentric Party of Great Britain1
The Reality Party1
No Twitter Data Found12

As you can see, some of the Twitter accounts are inactive and, actually because of this there are 12 constituencies where there are no candidates actively using Twitter.

Obviously these are ridiculous ways to cut the data and purposely we’ve only taken data that is available publicly and through Twitter meta data.

The best use of social media in the run up to the general election is for candidates in the marginal constituencies to really get to grips with social media to help them secure the extra 1000 or so votes they require to become an MP. Which we’ll look at in our next blog post.

Data Disclaimer & Source

These Twitter election predictions are for fun and not an entirely serious look into how the election will play out. We used the https://yournextmp.com/ data set, and then combined that with data mined out of Twitter.

For more serious political analysis of the current situation take a look at: http://www.electionforecast.co.uk/

For a more interactive and slightly more thorough collection of election predictions take a look at: http://may2015.com/category/seat-calculator/

Other Prediction Sites

I’m convinced Nate Silver will produce some kickass predictions: http://fivethirtyeight.com/
http://electionsetc.com/
http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/
http://politicalbetting.com/

Why did we choose to analyse Twitter and not Facebook?

Twitter is the most open and searchable (and media friendly) social network.

Twitter has a lot more political sway as Newspapers and TV quote tweets directly (rarely, do they quote directly from Facebook).