Twitter General Election 2010: Measuring opinion by Tweets

The General Election declared yesterday for May 6 2010 looks set to be more interesting than usual, due to a couple of factors. One being the televised debates of the party leaders, I for one can’t wait for those and think it will bring politics to a whole new audience. The other factor is the influence of social media and social networking sites, such as Twitter.

The significance of Twitter, which was not in use at the time of the last General Election, cannot be downplayed at this General Election. Nor can the major parties ignore its importance in their campaigning, with Twitter now having over 75 million users who have sent 4 billion tweets in total in the first quarter of 2010.

Now Reuters have commissioned a Market Research Company, Crimson Hexagon, in an attempt to analyse how people on Twitter feel about politics, the political parties and political figures. By studying all Tweets related to these topics and analysing the positive and negative comments, they have managed to gauge the political temperature of Twitter’s Britain.

A look at the graphs and tables at the link below gives a fascinating insight into how we are tweeting about politics. For instance if we look at positive tweets for different parties between March 22 and April 5, the Tories are slightly ahead on 13%, compared to Labour’s 10% and the Lib-Dem’s 8%. However if David Cameron thinks this is good news he should think again.

If we then look at negative tweets there are far more for the Tories on 28%, than for Labour 18%, and the Lib-Dem’s on 7%. Edward Schneider, a Crimson Hexagon consultant notes their results opf all their analysis show that “The possibility of a hung parliament is unquestionably alive, at least online”.

The impressionist Rory Bremner recently noted the possibility of a hung parliament adding, “Who shall we start with?” and this seems to be quite a good measure of how the public feel towards politicians right now. Will you be tweeting your way through the General Election and do you think social media will bring a new audience to politics? Why not let us know your thoughts?

Via: Reuters
Source: Crimson Hexagon