The 2010 UK election, announced today by prime minister Gordon Brown, marks the first time that Twitter has been in widespread use in the UK during a political campaign. In order to track UK political trends on the popular social networking tool, Reuters commissioned market research agency Crimson Hexagon to analyze what people were saying about politics on Twitter. While they turned up some pretty graphs, they also outlined some interesting facts.
Most notable was the fact that UK politico traffic on Twitter could be trended from week to week, with strong anti-Tory sentiment showing as constant throughout the entire period. Negative and positive statements about each party were charted, and over 40% of the traffic reported on Twitter was regarding the Conservative party, compared to 28% for Labour.
What does this mean for the rest of the world that wouldn’t be able to distinguish a Tory from a Labour supporter? In the future, telephone polls may become extinct in favor of the real-time trending that can be shown on Twitter. While this may not happen anytime soon due to the non-use of Twitter by the old ones amongst us, once most of the population is on Twitter it can be argued that a phone poll will be a moot point. What do you think? Do you prefer your political temperature to be taken over Twitter?
As Reported By: Reuters