As has become customary, we’ll start today’s analysis by looking at the top 10 most frequently used words in Tweets. As with all charts, the legend is in order, most frequently used to least frequently used, left to right, top to bottom:
On initial glance, it may seem like good news for the two main parties, who have finally rated a mention in the top 10, and ahead of the “SNP” too. However, looking at the remaining words, it looks as though they have gained their position through the ire of SNP supporters who voiced their displeasure over the, so called, FrenchGate affair. Words, like “story”, “vote” and “out”, lend weight to that supposition.
Other notable entries in the chart include: “Nicola” and “Sturgeon”, which occupy positions 14 and 18 respectively, interesting as it’s the first time the name of the SNP leader has appeared outside of the top 10; “Miliband” appears at 21; “Consul” appears at 25, followed consecutively by “General”, “letter” and “enquiry”, this lending more weight to the idea that the main parties have made it into the top 10 on the backs of SNP protest tweets.
Interestingly, as the leak has been traced to the Lib Dem run Scotland Office (http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/scottish-secretary-alistair-carmichael-i-5465414), the Lib Dems do not appear until position 822 today, although that may be due to the above news not surfacing in time to affect Day 5 tweets; if this is the case, then tomorrow’s data should show that.
The first of what could be called “election issues”, is the “NHS” and that doesn’t appear until position 51, only slightly ahead of “Trident” at position 58. Again this demonstrates that the the #GE2015 hashtag is being dominated by the SNP agenda and the other parties are struggling to gain any ground.
Moving on to examine the top 10 hashtags:
Looking at hashtags lends weight to our theory that the main parties only made it into the top 10 words on the back of SNP protests, with the inclusion, in second place, of the hashtag, “FrenchGate”. We also see “VoteSNP” appearing in almost half of the tagged tweets on the #GE2015 stream. Looking at some of the others we can see more evidence for the theory that I led in yesterday’s post, namely that the “CyberNats” (a well drilled collection of Independence supporting social media activists) had switched their attention from the Independence Referendum to the 2015 General Election; as we see their and the SNP’s, policies and agenda writ large with “Bairnsnotbombs” appearing in 5th place; this alludes to the SNP’s stated aim of removing Trident from Scottish waters.
Other interesting hashtags are “snpout” the Scottish based campaign against the SNP, their hashtag appears at position 24 and it continues to close the gap on “VoteSNP”, which is “only” 34 times more popular, down from 37 the day before and 58 the day before that.
With regard to policies of the other parties, you have to go all the way down to position 109 to find “SocialCare” before they start to show up.
Next, let’s take a look at the top 10 accounts mentioned in tweets:
Again we see the, by now familiar, scene of the SNP dominating. Almost half (49%) of all tweets made on the GE2015 election stream, mention either the SNP leader’s account, or the SNP’s account.
Two other interesting things emerge from this chart. One is that the “CyberNats” backlash against what they see as a smear campaign over “FrenchGate” show’s up here, with the accounts of the Telegraph and Sky being popular. The other interesting thing is the popularity of the account “NaeFear”, belonging to Jim Sillars – the ex SNP deputy leader.
This name of the account embodies an idea that was prevalent during the Independence Referendum, and it’s that every message from BetterTogether was untrue and was, instead, simply a ploy to scare the Scots into staying in the Union, and that we should show “NaeFear” and vote for independence. It’s clear that the SNP are trying to associate the “FrenchGate” affair with this idea that everything said against the SNP is untrue and is a ploy to keep us in the Union.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see if this is an effective tactic, if say the policies of the SNP come under closer scrutiny during the election and are found to be lacking is some respect.
The chart of the party accounts by frequency continues to make depressing reading for anyone outside of the SNP, with over 60% of all #GE2015 traffic mentioning them:
In this analysis, and going forward, I’m going to introduce a new chart and that is the chart of top 10 trigrams, as this gives a good zeitgeist feeling of what was talked about during the analysed day:
As we have come to expect, this chart is dominated by the SNP agenda. Every topic in the top 10 is on message for the SNP, in this case, it’s the “FrenchGate” affair and the “CyberNats” “call to arms” to complain about it.
So how well did the other parties fair? Well Labour was the “best of the rest”, they spoke about a home building fund and that came in at position 433, with 102 mentions, around 9 times fewer than the number 1 spot.
For the Tories, Hunt spoke about respect for teachers and that came in at position 740; Hague talked about a risk to jobs, which hit the 936 mark; whilst their efforts to clamp down on Internet porn could only get as far as number 1,024.
The Lib Dems didn’t fair much better, with their care fund plans coming in at 794.
Verdict: SNP carry the day.
We’ve seen, over the last three days that the SNP are dominating the GE2015 Twitter stream. I’m sure the main parties are carrying out the same analysis as I’m doing and with a far greater investment, so they are bound to realise they are getting hammered out there. I’m not saying that they are not engaging on social media, I just think that they are being badly advised; I’m sure they are paying handsomely for that advice too. The bottom line is, they need to call someone, and fast!
It’ll be interesting to see if they can turn it around over the coming days of the campaign.
Well, that’s all for this post, until next time, keep crunching those numbers.