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Social media’s crucial role in deciding 2015 General Election winner

By John Glenday | Reporter

May 8, 2015 | 2 min read

The 2015 general election is slated to be the first in history where social media has been hugely influential, according to analysis of Facebook and Twitter accounts linked to Britain’s main political parties.

Researchers at Proofpoint Nexgate found that such outlets performed a decisive role in determining the outcome of the titanic tussle between the parties, with all parties using the platforms extensively for their own communications.

Figures have shown that the Conservatives benefitted from the most engagement on their Facebook page with 467,000 likes with supporters generating more than 50,000 comments. In this realm Labour had the dubious distinction of having the highest volume of porn content posted on its main feed - ten overall.

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By contrast Labour was able to dominate discussions on Twitter courtesy of its 210,000 followers, with a total of 225 verified accounts helping to get their message across.

Commenting on the role of social media Telegraph Hill’s head of analytics and insights, Chris Moon said: “I think politicians were so scared to do normal walkabouts because of the gaffs of the General Elections of yesteryear, like Gordon Brown’s ‘bigoted woman’ fiasco of 2010.

“The problem with this election is that it has all been too safe. There have been no situations where politicians truly engaged with communities in an unplanned, unstructured manner. This is why social has become far more important to the general public.

“People were highly attracted to any channels in which they could engage with politicians and policies on a human level, as opposed to the scripted, lifeless acting that we’ve seen over the past few months.”

The smaller parties also made their mark with the Greens having the most associated Facebook pages with 540, although three per cent of all posts. A disastrous night for the Liberal Democrats meanwhile was capped by a Facebook performance which saw them top the list for spam posts, with 39 posted in total on their main page.


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