How the #LeadersDebate happened on Twitter

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Tonight saw an explosion of #LeadersDebate conversation on Twitter as ITV hosted the 2015 General Election televised debate involving all seven party leaders.

There were more than 1.5 million Tweets about tonight’s debate, with an average of 8,657 Tweets-per-minute:

However, there were a number of key moments that got users reaching for the Tweet button to react in real-time.

The three moments where conversation spiked highest (based on Tweets-per-minute) during the debate were:

  1. Nigel Farage’s (@nigel_farage) claim that 60% of HIV sufferers in the country are not British Nationals
  2. The closing speeches
  3. A heckler interrupting the debate by shouting out from the audience

As a result, the politician sparking the most Tweets was Nigel Farage (@nigel_farage), followed by David Cameron (@david_cameron) and Ed Miliband (@ed_miliband).

However, the picture varied when it came to the seven parties. Labour (@UKLabour) took the top spot as the most-mentioned party, with the SNP (@theSNP) second and UKIP (@UKIP) third.

Twitter users across the UK joined the debate to discuss some of the key issues impacting the nation.

The two topics on Twitter that cause the most conversation during the debate were:

  1. NHS
  2. Immigration

The night also saw news media and political organisations using SnappyTV to post videos of the debate to Twitter in real-time. Here is a selection:

With five weeks still to go before polling day it will be fascinating to see how news organisations and campaigns continue to use Twitter to tell their stories and engage voters.