The aftermath of the 2017 General Election was one of the most surprising and unexpected events ever in British politics. Resulting in a hung parliament, the five week long campaigns were disrupted twice by terrorist attacks and we witnessed the Conservative’s dementia tax U-turn, many TV debates which always caused heated conversations on Twitter, and a tightening gap between Labour and Conservatives. Social media was a significant part of this year’s campaigns and the impact on the young voters was undeniable – immediate NUS estimations showed 72% of this demographic showed up to vote and the subsequent YouGov survey also indicated high turn out with 58% of voters aged 18-24.
Within the six weeks that we tracked the 2017 General Election 6,818,172 Tweets were generated creating 1524.8M Impressions. As it was one of the most important political events of the year, bringing TV and Twitter audiences together, let’s have a second glance at how Tweeters reacted to #GE17.
Week 1 (05 to 11 May)
Our first week of tracking registered 60,047 Tweets and 14.3M Impressions. Tuesday saw the biggest Twitter activity with Theresa May’s appearance on The One Show that got Tweeters talking about #foxhunting – one of the biggest hashtags for the week. Apart from the controversial views on fox hunting associated with the Conservatives, Labour’s leaked manifesto contributed to #votelabour reaching 28,690 mentions. The first week started off with Labour winning the Social TV chatter by 5% compared to Conservatives.
Week 2 (12 to 18 May)
Following the Conservative manifesto, the chatter about the two dominating political parties, Labour and Conservative, intensified significantly. Twitter activity soared up to 775,697 Tweets, which is twelve times more compared to the previous week! Despite May’s and Corbyn’s absence, the ITV Leaders’ Debate generated an insane amount of Tweets and Tim Farron’s performance across the debate helped LibDems to appear in Twitter conversations.
Week 3 (19 to 25 May)
The attack in Manchester disrupted politics this week as all the parties decided to suspend their campaigns. Despite this tragic event, the third week still sparked a lot of Twitter chatter (818,410 Tweets) as the deadline to register approached – which, in turn, got Tweeters talking about #registertovote (16,386 mentions). The biggest show of the week was the Andrew Neil Interview with Theresa May accounting for over 86K Tweets within the Broadcast Window, sparking Twitter debates about the #weakandwobbly (1,475 mentions) policy of the Conservatives. As can be seen on our Twitter Chatter Chart, UKIP’s manifesto presented on Thursday helped the party to reappear in the Tweeters’ conversations.
Week 4 (26 May to 01 June)
As voters started gearing up for the General Election, Twitter registered a sudden spike in activity – Tweeters generated 1.1M Tweets that translated to nearly 195M Impressions. With the SNP launching their manifesto the party saw a significant rise in Tweeters’ chatter making 30th May the biggest day for the Scottish National Party. The fourth week of political campaigning was dominated by TV debates with The Battle For Number 10 outnumbering any other General Election coverage (861K Tweets).This week also had its hilarious moments – as Theresa May decided not to show up at BBC’s Election Debate, Twitter exploded with #WheresTheresa, #WheresMay and #WhereIsTheresa featuring in 32,377 Tweets! The PM didn’t have an easy week as the anti-Theresa song ‘Liar Liar’ neared the top of the Official Singles Chart.
Week 5 (02 to 08 June)
The Election week saw colossal Twitter buzz – despite another tragic attack at London Bridge that suspended political campaigning. Tweeters sparked over 2.5M Tweets creating 721.4M Impressions, meaning that this week alone generated nearly half of the GE2017 chatter. UKIP’s decision to carry on with their campaign divided Twitter. Whereas some social media users called for the election to be postponed, others highly criticised the government for this move as an act of capitulation and surrendering to the terrorists. The London Bridge attack raised important questions in Twitter debates about police cuts introduced by the Tory government. Condemning voices were accompanied by #votelabour which accounted for 4,614 Tweets and was Sunday’s lead hashtag.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest day was the Election Day with 1,149,825 Tweets. #VoteLabour accounted for 74,279 Tweets, widening the difference between Labour and Conservative to 21%. The peak moment of the day occurred at 22:02 with 3,051 Tweets about the initial Exit Polls indicating a possibility of a hung parliament. As the likelihood of a hung parliament increased, with the Conservatives losing seats and Labour making substantial gains, mixed reactions flooded Twitter with Admiration and Criticism appearing highest on our Emotion analysis. Although Twitter chatter remained high until 22:30, we recorded a constant buzz across the night. After such an exciting and busy night, the UK woke up to a hung parliament and Tweeters woke up to #HungParliament topping the trending list.
Source : Kantar Media