Let’s jump right into today’s analysis by looking at the most frequently used word chart:
“Labour” top the word chart after their attack on the SNP over the £7.6Bn cost of Full Fiscal Autonomy. More on this later.
Some interesting words, outside of the top 10, were “Hashflags” at position 25 (more about those here). “Cuts” appears at number 28 after Labour pushed the SNP on how they’d pay for FFA, and the words “Desperate”, “Fears” and “Smears” – appearing at positions 38, 39 and 40 respectively, showed how the SNP supporters dealt with that. More on this interesting aspect of the “CyberNats” later.
Oh the hashtag chart is very interesting today! Note the tag “IndyRef” at position 3. Every time the SNP is challenged on a policy, the popularity of this hashtag rises. Note also the tag “ProjectFear2” at number 7. This is how the “CyberNats” dealt with any challenges made to the SNP’s assertions – whether they were about oil, the Pound or EU membership – during the referendum campaign. The “CyberNats” merely branded the challenges as “ProjectFear” claiming they were simply “lies” by the “No” side to scare voters away from voting “Yes”.
This helped the SNP, as once this idea was floated and became popular, it allowed Salmond to make the same claim and avoid answering the challenges.
It’s clear from this chart, that the “CyberNats” are reusing this tactic, under the guise of “ProjectFear2”, to classify any challenge (in this case about the £7.6Bn cost of FFA) as simply a “lie” from Labour. It will be interesting to see if Sturgeon resists the temptation that Salmond couldn’t, and answers the questions directly, or if she chooses to use “ProjectFear2” as a shield.
“TwitterUK” hits number 3 in the chart after the introduction of the hashflags for political parties. Labour accounts are well represented after their challenge on FFA; as are a couple of BBC accounts, after covering the story. Robert Peston will be grateful to see his account at a lowly 1,234 after what happened to the BBC’s Nick Robinson when he challenged the SNP. Still, it’s early in the story yet…
In the zeitgeist, we see the instinctive reaction to Labour’s challenge on FFA, by the “CyberNats”. Firstly, there is an upsurge in calls for independence, followed by writing off the challenge as “lies, smears and ProjectFear2”.
The “CyberNats” have a real cognitive dissonance when it comes to anyone challenging the official party line. Unlike supporters of all the other parties, they are unable to see the challenge in any way other than a concerted campaign by the “establishment” to instil fear of independence into the hearts of the Scots. This, despite the fact that the Westminster election has no bearing on the issue of independence whatsoever.
Now let’s take a look at what the other parties had to offer yesterday.
The Tories said they’d spend an extra 8Bn on the NHS. The “NHS” is mentioned 18 times, the highest position at 195 with “PLANS NHS INVESTMENT”.
The Tories also pledged to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1M. This was not mentioned in the zeitgeist.
The LibDems promised help for renters. The word “rent” appears 11 times, the highest “LIBDEMS HELP RENT” at 154.
Well that’s all for this post, until next time, keep crunching those numbers.