2012 Conference Season on Twitter

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

There have been more than one million Tweets about the major party conferences this autumn, making it the biggest UK political conference season ever on Twitter.  

And as the final conference comes to a close, we have taken a look at how the three events have played out, 140 characters at a time. 

Total Mentions  

There were over one millions mentions of the party conferences on Twitter, made up as follows:
1. Conservative Party conference (7-10 October 2012): 490,000 mentions
2. Labour Party conference (30 Sep-4 Oct 2012): 385,000 mentions
3. Liberal Democrat Party conference (22-26 Sept 2012): 240,000 mentions

These figures include mentions of the party, leader, key speakers and hashtags relevant to the specific conference periods.

Party Leaders 
We counted the number of mentions of each of the three leaders during their own party conference.  Here’s how they compare:

1. David Cameron (@David_Cameron): 214,000 mentions
2. Nick Clegg (@Nick_Clegg): 135,000 mentions
3. Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband): 99,00 mentions

Most Followed 
David Cameron may have been the most talked about leader on Twitter during his own party’s conference, but it is Ed Miliband who leads the pack when it comes to follower numbers. We’ve compared the follower numbers for the party leaders and their respective political parties:

1. @Ed_Miliband: 166,000 followers
2. @David_Cameron: 110,000 followers
3. @nick_clegg): 92,516 followers

1. @Conservatives: 70,000 followers
2. @UKLabour: 64,000 followers
3. @LibDems: 36,000 followers

Most Tweeted 
It comes as no surprise that the leaders’ speeches were the most Tweeted about events at each of the events. We looked at how much conversation the speeches generated on Twitter.

It was a close run between Cameron and Milliband for the top spot, with less than 500 Tweets separating the pair. However Cameron’s speech just pipped Miliband’s to the post. Here’s how they compared:

1. David Cameron’s (@David_Cameron) speech on 10 October:
26,000 Tweets/hour
Most tweeted moment: Cameron telling the crowd, ‘I went to a great school’

2. Ed Miliband’s (@Ed_Miliband) speech on 2 October:
25,500 Tweets/hour
Most tweeted moment: Miliband saying: ‘We’ll look back on 2012 as a golden summer for Britain’s plebs, when every politician in the land was on their side’

3. Nick Clegg’s speech (@nick_clegg) on 26 September:
13,500 Tweets/hour
Most tweeted moment: Clegg announcing that Paddy Ashdown would lead the 2015 election campaign.

The numbers above refer to quantity of Tweets only, and make no reference to the sentiment.

Politics on Twitter

Throughout the conferences, Twitter provided an open platform for debate and discussion, bringing enthusiasts of all persuasions closer to the political action than ever before, with an unprecedented number of Tweets flowing across the platform.

Here’s hoping this has set the scene for an exciting autumn of politics on Twitter.