How did the party leaders fare on Twitter?

April 23, 2010

There was no undisputed winner, according to the snap polls which followed the second leaders’ debate in Bristol last night. The instant polls were split on who had won, with three saying LibDem leader Nick Clegg was the victor and another two placing the Conservatives’ David Cameron in first place.

“The three main party leaders were unable to land a knockout punch on their rivals,” said Reuters correspondent Peter Griffiths, reporting from Bristol yesterday.

Some newspapers claim Cameron’s performance — viewed as an improvement on last week — may have put the brakes on the surge in LibDem support which followed Clegg’s resounding victory in the first debate, but exclusive analysis for Reuters.co.uk shows, on Twitter at least, the Clegg bandwagon rolls on.

Market research company Crimson Hexagon has been commissioned by Thomson Reuters to archive all tweets about UK politics and analyse them for positive and negative sentiment.

The latest statistics, which include all tweets sent before, during and after yesterday’s debate, show support for Clegg’s LibDems continuing to grow at the expense of the other two leaders.

This first graphic below shows how positive tweets were distributed among the three main political parties. Pro-LibDem sentiment rocketed to 32 percent from 19 percent the day before. Positive Tory tweets fell to 5 percent while support for Labour fell one point to 7 percent.

SentimentApr23PRO

Negative LibDem tweets went up to 12 percent while anti-Tory sentiment fell to 16 percent from 28 percent the day before the debate. Just 7 percent of tweets were anti-Labour.

SentimentApr23sANTIThe following graphic shows the net performance of each of the main political parties on Twitter since we began our research on March 22.

SentimentApr23NETThere was also a spike in the number of political tweets posted yesterday — 21,161 compared to 5,333 on April 21 and 5,131 on April 20.

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