Scottish nationals calling for a ‘Yes’ in the upcoming referendum on independence have gained almost 10 per cent more support between March and April, according to data from Hotwire based on the official hashtag, #indyref.
On 7 March, the amount of support for voting yes stood at 14.8 per cent of all tweets using the official hashtag.
Over the next two months, there were multiple swings in the volume of positive sentiment but overall the ‘Yes’ camp dominated online sentiment.
Hotwire has suggested that the fluctuations are directly related to the media coverage, with voters being more likely to tweet in favour of voting yes after listening to debates and interviews.
During the weekend of 15-16 March there was a jump to 31.74 per cent in favour of independence. This spike was linked to a Radical Independence Campaign discussion at Glasgow University as well as Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond appearing on the Andrew Marr Show.
On 3 May, when the Sunday Herald came out in support of the yes campaign, online support for the yes vote doubled in volume. Nearly 3000 extra tweets were created and 33.22 per cent of all tweets using #indyref were in favour of independence.
So far, the biggest increase in those tweeting ‘Yes’ with the hashtag came during the SNP’s (Scottish National Party) 80th anniversary party, counting for 36.84 per cent of all official hashtag users.
Alex MacLaverty, managing director, Hotwire explained: “Observing the Twitter reaction to the referendum news agenda has already shown up the strength of support behind the ‘yes’ campaign. Despite the real-time fluctuations in response to day-to-day events, support is still trending upwards. For campaigns on both sides, the correlation between events covered in traditional media and the impact it has on social media is clear and cannot be ignored.”
Hotwire found that little traction has been gained by the ‘no’ vote across Twitter. Only twice has the amount of support for a ‘no’ alongside #indyref climbed above one per cent of the total online mentions.