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Social media analysis predicts Yes campaign as the winner in Scottish referendum

By James Doleman |

September 18, 2014 | 3 min read

Data obtained by The Drum has revealed that if the Scottish independence referendum was decided on social media activity the Yes campaign would win hands down.

Ballot paper

Ballot paper

On Facebook The Yes campaign page has received 258,000 likes, compared with only 182,000 for the No campaign, while the pro-union camp saw 1.96 million interactions relating to its Better Together campaign, and the Yes side had 2.05 million.

Edinburgh-based Storm Ideas has also revealed how many people have added a “Twibbon” - a small image that users can add to their profile pictures, for either Yes of No.

While the opinion polls show a dead heat between the two campaigns, the vast majority of those adding a Twibbon are supporting the Yes campaign, with 128,000 supporters compared to 43,000 on the No side.

Meanwhile social media monitoring company Brandwatch has released its data on Twitter activity over the independence vote, revealing Glasgow as the most vocal city about the referendum on the micro-blogging site, with Edinburgh coming in second.

Men dominate the conversation with only 33 per cent of tweets coming from women.

The Drum asked Brandwatch if it could differentiate between pro-Yes and pro-No tweets

Brandwatch spokesperson Hannah Emanuel said that its data showed 80 per cent of the Scottish tweets analysed were in favour of Yes while even in England 61 per cent were in favour of independence,

However, she cautioned: "Our data is clearly showing that 'yes' voters were by far the more vocal group online, however we would caution against calling this an opinion poll or prediction as social media stats alone cannot be assumed to accurately represent the Scottish electorate."

Another social media analytics company Talkwalker has also released its conclusions on the social media battle over independence and again Yes appears to be the clear winner.

It concluded that the Yes campaign is three times more socially active than No campaign and had gained twice the social reach of their opponents. It also revealed that #YesScotland had been the most engaging hashtag with a 13.6 million reach.

In this unique selection social media has played a bigger role than in any vote in history.

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