House of Parliament

Social Media Sentiment & The 2017 UK General Election

Danny O'Reilly Elections, Politics, Uncategorized

As people the length and breadth of the UK voted in schools, leisure centres and even pubs, they also posted on social media about it.

As the dust begins to settle on a frenetic night of political shocks and surprises, and while pundits and commentators pore through the data on who voted where and why, here at Wayin we looked at social media for clues into the results.

So who won the digital battle for Number 10, and what can we learn from it?

Conversation Building Towards Polling Day

Analyzing the dedicated election hashtag #GE2017 for the month preceding polling day, tweets were consistently around the 150,000 mark, rising sharply in the final week as election fever took hold.

What Issues Got People Talking?

Of course personality politics, predictions and a little bit of trolling were as much themes of this election, as others. But many voters took to social media to talk policies and issues. Here we looked at the top 5 trending policy issues for voters and ranked them in order of their mentions.

Brexit and Security have regularly occupied the top two spots in this ever-changing trend. Click on each policy to see the number of tweets and trends over the past day, week or right now.

Who Got Your Vote?

The main political parties in the UK each had a branded hashtag that voters could use to show their support, voting intentions and perhaps influence a few peers. Over the just the last week, #VoteLabour hoovered up a huge majority on social media, that was not quite reflected at the ballot box. Perhaps pointing towards the younger age demographic of social media users and Labour Voters. #VoteConservative received a meagre 7% of the social vote, eclipsed by the 42% it received in physical votes.

It’s important to note that one in eight tweets about UK politics are generated by automated accounts that can skew sentiment and results. Labour receiving the most; around 21,000, followed by SNP and Conservative with around 13,000 apiece.

The Race For Number 10

Barring a rather seismic political shock (but hey, there was Brexit) either Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn would receive the keys to number 10 Downing Street and an audience with the Queen.

Pitching the two political protagonists against each other in a tilt visualization, over the past 7 days, Jeremy Corbyn and Labour received a whopping 92% of tweets. As mentioned in the previous point, some bots can influence this chart, but irrespective it is still a resounding result for Labour.

Battle Of The Sexes?

One interesting takeaway was the divide between males and females and their voting intentions. When it came to Labour, there was a reasonably even split, but looking at the Conservatives, 72% of positive mentions came from men. This data could help scope future campaigns for the political parties.

Battle of sexes in voting on social media


What Is A Hung Parliament?

While voters furiously search “What is a hung parliament?” we decided to take a look a mentions of the hashtag #HungParliament over the 48 hours until the results were counted. As you can see, bar one or two sages who should have placed a bet, there were almost zero mentions of the term until late on election night, with over 20’000 mentions an hour of the hashtag once results came in.

Join the conversation and tweet your thoughts below.