Beattie: What if social media could predict the snap election outcome?

Beattie’s digital team has launched a tongue-in-cheek investigation on what would happen if social media activity dictated how UK voters will behave in June and who will be in power after the General Election.

The agency has taken a light-hearted look at the social media popularity of the main political parties and their leaders according to activity on Twitter and Facebook.

According the results, if Twitter was an accurate measure of how Westminster would look after the election, Labour would take power but need to enter a coalition with two other parties, such as The Green Party or the Liberal Democrats.

On Facebook, UKIP has the majority of likes, with Conservatives and Labour not far behind.

According to Beattie’s research, if those likes were seats in the House of Commons, Paul Nuttall would be Prime Minister, entering a coalition with the Conservatives.

But, unless they could convince a third party to get on board with them, they would have a minority government.

Beattie researchers discovered a huge shift in the 48 hours following Theresa May’s shock General Election announcement. The Prime Minister herself gained 5,000 more Twitter followers, and Jeremy Corbyn got a further 8,000. The Liberal Democrats increased by 5,000 on Twitter and 4,000 new Facebook likes between Tuesday’s announcement and Thursday morning.

Jessica McAndrew, digital communications director at Beattie, said: “If followers on Twitter were an indication of total number of seats, there would be a Labour coalition government. But if the future of Westminster was in the hands of Facebook, UKIP leader Paul Nuttall would be running the country in coalition with the Tories.

“Political leaders know social media offers an effective way to reach voters. The echo chamber which channels like Facebook forms can even sway voters’ opinions – especially those who use social channels as their primary news outlets.

“But our research has discovered that right now, the audiences on these two platforms alone are very different, with opposing political leanings.”

McAndrew now expects all parties to mount an aggressive social media campaign to win the hearts and minds of voters.

She said: “The standing of all political parties on the social media hustings will change dramatically over the next six weeks as each party tries to woo voters.”

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