Social media is an important player in the run up to the general election on 7th May 2015.
Each political party and its leader has a voice on social media, with huge sums of money being spent on social media campaigns to drum up support and raise awareness of key policies.
With fewer than half of eligible young people (44%) voting in the last election, politicians are embracing social media in order to boost extra votes from a younger audience.
Social media enables the parties to get closer to the electorate, to reach new audiences, interact and promote their campaigns. Social media is playing a more integral role in the general election than ever before.
Big Social Data
As the election draws closer, we are able to closely monitor the thousands of conversations taking place online to gain insights into the thoughts and feelings of the social electorate.
By monitoring and filtering through conversations, we are able to analyse this data to make suggestions about the outcome of the general election. Although we can’t 100% predict the outcome on May 7th, we can certainly provide some significant findings.
So; what would happen if social media were to decide the general election?
Which party would win?
Using our social listening client Brandwatch‘s tools, we’re able to look at the sentiment surrounding the different parties. We can compare the changing sentiment for the parties over time, which allows us to clearly see who is winning in terms of positive mentions on social.
If social were to decide the next ruling government based on the past seven days worth of data, it looks like Plaid Cymru are winning your vote, closely followed by the Green party.
Who would win if it were a popularity contest?
Based on the past seven days-worth of data, it’s Ed Miliband who has been sparking the most conversations on social, closely followed by David Cameron.
Which Leader is Winning on Social Media?
Based on the past seven days-worth of data, Leanne Wood is winning in terms of positive mentions, with Natalie Bennett coming close second. Current Prime Minister David Cameron’s sentiment is 76% negative, while his deputy Nick Clegg’s is 64%.
How Important is Social Media in the Run Up to 7th May?
In summary, social media is playing an integral part in the run up to the election. It allows us to closely monitor key trends, topics and changing sentiment, to gain insight into the possible outcome prior to the 7th.
By embracing social media, politicians are able to directly communicate with the electorate. They can gain instant feedback, promote their manifestos and build their ‘brand’ with a wider audience.
We can analyse these engagements and conversations in order to gain a deeper understanding into how each of the campaigns is performing and, ultimately, who is likely to win in a few weeks time.
Over To You
What do you think? How is social media playing a role in the build up to the General Election?