Social Media and the 2015 Election
Social media has infiltrated practically every aspect of modern day life and it’s no surprise that the elections today are no exception. Politicians have been upping their digital game when it comes to earning votes in the 2015 election. Winning popularity online is useful for spreading the message of a party and its leaders. However, winning online may not necessarily equate to winning in the polls. Before the votes are counted and a new era of UK politics potentially begins, let’s take a look at how our party leaders have performed on their various social media channels.
When it comes to Twitter, arguably the most important platform to dominate, our party leaders have experienced varied levels of success. Nicola Sturgeon has taken the crown for the most frequently mentioned party leader. With 193k followers, she is a frequent tweeter who earns an admirable amount of interaction. She shows a clear knowledge of the site and certainly uses it to her advantage. However, the SNP do not tweet as often as the other political parties which could be considered a fail on a site that generally encourages quantity over quality. The Liberal Democrats were the most frantic tweeters, with more than 3,200 tweets sent out in a five week duration of their campaign. During the same time period, the Conservatives sent just one tweet less than the Liberal Democrats and the SNP tweeted just over half of this amount.
When it comes to Twitter popularity, David Cameron is the clear winner with close to a million followers under his belt. Ed Miliband has less than half of this amount with 460k and Nick Clegg is much further behind with 230k. Nigel Farage is even further behind in the popularity stakes with 220k followers. David Cameron is also winning the popularity contest when it comes to Facebook with more than half a million likes on his official Facebook page. Again Ed Miliband is trailing behind with just 109,000 likes, however, Nigel Farge has jumped ahead of him on this platform with 240,000 likes. When we look at the parties official pages as opposed to the individual party leaders, we can see that the Conservatives and Ukip are almost neck and neck with over 450,000 likes to each.Ukip have been the party to receive the most likes on their Facebook posts with a massive average of 7,000 likes on each of their Facebook posts. In contrast to this, the Liberal Democrats have an average of just 250 likes per post. The fluctuation in popularity for Ukip on Twitter and Facebook illustrates a lot about the type of voter that they have attracted.
With the votes still being made there is time for all potential future leaders to have their say online and sway some last minute voters who might still be in the fence! It is inevitable that in the coming days our news feeds will be flooded with up to the minute news and opinions on the latest developments as they happen.
By Alix Jones