UK General Election Day 8 Twitter Analysis

In this daily analysis I’m going to mix things up a little. A couple of people have messaged me and said that the pie chart is not the best chart to display this information, as it doesn’t make it particularly clear how the frequencies of words (for example) compare one to another. I’m always looking for constructive comments and so I thought I’d try presenting the information in the form of a bar graph in the hope that this will be clearer for you.

That said, let’s jump in and take a look at the top 10 word frequency:


As you can see, the injection of Tony Blair into the campaign has had an effect. “Labour” leads todays chart, with “Blair” and “Tony” making strong appearances also.


The SNP continue to show up the other party’s inability to get their messages onto the main election stream, due to them not fully understanding how Twitter works. This continued failure by them is allowing the SNP to dominate here.

Have said that, it’s not all good news for the SNP; the tag “FRENCHGATE” makes it’s daily appearance here. The “CyberNats” unwillingness to let this subject go, is keeping the story on the stream much longer than it would have, providing a distraction away from the main SNP election message. Although, that could also be due to fact that Andy Burnham appear on the Radio 4 Today programme and was asked about it.

Those of us who watched the Scottish Leader’s debates last night will have heard the audience grown when Nicola Sturgeon failed to rule out another independence referendum in 2016 if the SNP wins the Scottish election; so inclusion of the tag “INDYREF” in this list – again driven by the “CyberNats”, is as likely to harm the SNP as do them good.

Talking of harm, the tag “WEHAVENOTFORGOTTEN” is yet another example of the main party’s naivety when it comes to Twitter. The tag was started by the Lib Dems, in response to Tony Blair’s appearance. They started posting about all the things Blair promised and did and tagged them with that hashtag.

This is a school boy error because, of course, everyone piled in on the Lib Dems posting about things they had promised and not delivered, especially tuition fees. This is the sort of error the SNP would not make, and why they are winning hands down on Twitter. (Note: Twitter is not a good model for the population as a whole, and so observations made with this data applies to Twitter only.)

Also both Gove and Burnham were on air talking about the NHS yesterday, and that is reflected in a bump of the position of “#NHS” to 5th spot.

Let’s see if any of this shows up in the popular accounts:


No prizes for for guessing that the “CyberNats” dominated stream puts “@theSNP” and “@NicolaSturgeon” firmly at the top of the table. And, yes, there’s the poor old “@LibDem” account, taking a pounding from their misguided Twitter campaign. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, except for the SNP – under the able guidance of Ross Colquhoun – the political parties in this country need to get some serious social media advice, stat!

Nowhere is the importance of the “CyberNats” dominance of the main election stream better illustrated than the trigrams chart:


Although the consensus of opinion from all of the media analysts, was that there was no definitive winner in last night’s debate in Scotland; people following the election stream would be left in no doubt that the SNP had been victorious, as all 10 places are taken with pro SNP phrases. This distortion of reality is both important for the SNP to maintain (for obvious reasons) and for the other parties to break, if they ever hope to make themselves heard on Twitter. We are on day 8 of the campaign now, and so far the other parties have seemed incapable of modifying their posting habits in order to combat the SNP’s dominance.

So now let’s see how the other parties got on with their policies yesterday. First up, for Labour, Tony Blair was making a speech on Europe. “BLAIR LEAVING EUROPE” showed up at 1,633.

Next Cameron made an appeal to supporters who’d left for UKIP to come back, this did not feature in the sampled 2,000 trigrams.

Then Andy Burnham spoke about out of hours care, which also did not rate a mention in the trigrams, although “NHS PUBLIC SERVICE” does appear at position 77.

Followed by Plaid announcing their demands for joining a nationalist voting block in the next parliament, this did not register.

Later in the day David Cameron visited the set of Game of Thrones, “GAME THRONES SET” occupies the 919 slot.

Miliband said that companies getting government contracts would be obliged to provide apprenticeships, this did not register.

Farage spoke about a “veterans administration”, this did not register. UKIP’s Hookem also spoke about defence, again this did not register.

Jeremy Hunt promised funding for the NHS and “SECRETARY JEREMY_HUNT PROMISES” comes in at 811

Well that’s all for today’s post, until next time, keep crunching those numbers. Smile

This entry was posted in Data Science, Social Media, Statistics, UKGeneralElection2015 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to UK General Election Day 8 Twitter Analysis

  1. Pingback: UK General Election 2015 Day by Day Analysis | Gary Short

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