Politics of Big Data

The Guardian asked “How Digital is the 2015 election?” this week. The Evening Standard declared that 2015 will be “the year social media wins the General Election”. One thing is clear: social media and digital strategies will very much play a role in currying favour for the main political parties. Tapping into this surge of interest in social media sentiment, FleishmanHillard client TCS has launched a new smartphone app, ElectUK, designed to help voters identify, track and share trends ahead of the May 2015 General Election.

TCS has data-crunched more than 4.6 million tweets to offer a revealing window on how voters feel about candidates, parties and those key election issues. For example, the Economy is currently the most talked about election topic having received 29% of all mentions, followed by Employment (24.3%) and Health (15.6%). The have also been more negative conversations about the Economy (27%) than there were positive conversations (21.7%) across the country.

One of the features that most distinguishes ElectUK is its ‘Compare Politicians’ function. Here is an example of how sentiment is split between three of the main party leaders:










From relatively unstructured data, the app presents positive and negative sentiments for each of the 3 politicians against each other across the last 24 hours. It shows you which election topics were most associated with each politician and how people feel about each politician. There is also an option to look back over either a week or a month to see how opinions about the politicians have changed over time.

As the global agency for TCS, FleishmanHillard’s London team has been working closely with TCS to support the development of the ElectUK app, create supporting content and promote the app through traditional and social media channels.

With more than thirty percent of people aged 18-24 saying that their vote will be influenced by social media content, David Cameron’s statement that “too many tweets might make a tw*t” could seem distinctly out of touch with the electorate. Up until mid-March, there were 21 million interactions about the May 2015 General Election on social media. ElectUK is capitalising on Twitter to spread news, shape debate and predict outcomes leading up to May 7th.

Follow @ElectUK on Twitter. The app is free to download on both Apple and Android devices.