Twitter learns to love the LibDems

April 19, 2010

Our exclusive analysis of  political sentiment expressed on Twitter.com shows a surge in pro-LibDem tweets since Nick Clegg’s successful performance in the leaders’ debate on Thursday evening — mirroring the huge swing towards the party in the opinion polls.

U.S. marketing firm Crimson Hexagon is archiving all political tweets throughout the election for Reuters.co.uk and analysing them for positive and negative sentiment. The latest statistics show a dramatic spike in positive LibDem sentiment, sparked by Clegg’s universally praised performance during the televised debate, the first of its kind in British politics.

The graphic below shows 23 percent of tweets were pro-LibDem today (down 1 percent on yesterday). Prior to the leaders’ debate the highest percentage of positive tweets for any party was 16 percent.

One Twitter user, @eloquentalien, posted: “I watched the UK Prime Minesterial Debate, and while watching it I was thinking, Hmm, Nick Clegg is coming off as the best of the three…”

Pro-Labour sentiment is at 9 percent (down two points) while support for the Conservatives on Twitter is at an all-time low of 6 percent (down from 15 percent on March 22, the day we began the research).

“A three way split in government illustrate that the Tories and Labour can no longer get away with violating election promises,” said @amiras80.

ProApr19

Meanwhile, negative LibDem sentiment increased slightly in the debate aftermath and is now at 11 percent, while anti-Tory tweets have fallen from a high of 34 percent a week ago to 20 percent today. Anti-Labour sentiment has also fallen from a peak of 31 percent on March 27 to 10 percent today.

AntiApr19

Away from Twitter, the rise of LibDem support can also be seen in our opinion poll tracker, below.

opinionpolltracker

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