The Political Futures Tracker #BattleForNumber10

We look back at the #BattleForNumber10 between #Cameron and #Miliband to show how people on Twitter responded to what the leaders had to say ahead of the election and the issues at the centre of the social media storm. @nesta_uk @GateAcUk #PoliticalFuturesTracker

  1. Using the Political Futures Tracker we can look at how people respond to political leaders on Twitter and whether they like what they hear about the big issues that will determine the result of the election.
  2. Last night, just before - during - and just after the Channel 4/ Sky News programme Cameron and Miliband: The Battle for Number 10, we collected 300,000 tweets which used the official hashtag #BattleForNumber10.
  3. Hashtags highlight the big issues that defined the battle, but also tell a Twitter story of heckling and humour.
  4. The use of hashtags documents both sentiment and themes. Spikes in the use of #Cameron towards the front end of the programme and #Miliband at the tail end are unsurprising. More interesting is the sharp peak of #NHS at 9.45pm, as Miliband started talking, and we know that the NHS has historically been an important topic for the Labour Party.
  5. The graph also includes the post match analysis - hence why #bbcqt begins trending after 10.30pm.
  6. The Tracker looks at themes mentioned by people on Twitter using the #BattleForNumber10 hashtag and identifies whether they tweet about them in a positive or negative way. We can see from the overall number of Tweets that the NHS, the UK Economy and Employment were the topics that incited the largest number of responses...
  7. But looking at immigration, we can see that across the board overwhelmingly negative sentiment was expressed. This doesnt mean that people necessarily felt negative about immigration, but perhaps that negative sentiment was expressed about failures to meet immigration targets, for instance ...
  8. Interestingly, we can see that sentiment on Twitter was broadly positive for Miliband. A greater degree of negative sentiment was expressed when Ed spoke about the NHS and the UK Economy.
  9. For Cameron, we see greater numbers of tweets expressing negative sentiment across the board, with a particularly negative backlash on the UK Economy, Borders and Immigration and the NHS. People tended to tweet in a relatively more positive way about Europe and Employment.
  10. So we know how people felt about the way Cameron and Miliband were talking on certain themes, but what was the result?
  11. Politicians past and present) took to Twitter to pass judgement ...
  12. ... other leaders also pitched in with their views.
  13. But for many, the poll is the only thing that counts ...
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