Insights from the UK and beyond
Twitter users still agree with Nick
One the eve of the general election, our exclusive Twitter analysis of political sentiment shows that while the latest opinion polls point to a late rally by Gordon Brown’s Labour Party, users of the micro-blogging site still favour Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats over the other two main parties.
US market research firm Crimson Hexagon (on behalf of Reuters.co.uk) has been archiving all tweets on British politics since March 22 and analysing them for positive and negative sentiment. All parties have had their ups and downs, most notably in the aftermath of the first leaders’ debate (which led to a spike in support for the LibDems and the hashtag #iagreewithnick trending on Twitter) and Gordon Brown’s “bigot” gaffe in Rochdale,which gave us the highest percentage of negative tweets for any party during the campaign.
Just hours before the nation goes to the polls and with so many voters apparently still undecided, it’s worth taking a look at the latest numbers.
The graphic below shows positive tweets for each party up to May 4. The LibDems come out top on 20 percent, with pro-Labour sentiment on 12 percent and pro-Tory lagging behind on five percent.
The next graphic shows negative tweets for each party. Again the numbers favour the LibDems; negative sentiment for Clegg’s party is on just eight percent. Negative Labour tweets are at 16 percent. Meanwhile, despite a lead in the opinion polls, David Cameron’s Tories are the least popular on 25 percent. The highest percentage of tweets we have seen (a massive 42 percent) occurred when Gordon Brown called pensioner Gillian Duffy a “bigoted woman”.
The final graphic shows the overall performance of each party on Twitter since March 22. If the general public votes in the same way tomorrow, Nick Clegg will be an extremely happy man on Friday morning.