Linguamatics’ linguistic analysis provides immediate insight into tweet sentiment towards party leaders during the final televised UK election debate, April 29 2010.

The preliminary results from tweets sent during the debate, including a new view on the instant reactions to particular issues (Figure 1), showed a further narrowing of the gap between the leaders’ performances (Figure 2) but with Nick Clegg still performing best overall.

Figure 1: How twitterers reacted to particular issues in the final debate

The overall tweet analysis (Figure 2) for the three debates shows the percentage of tweets in favour of each of the leaders. Nick Clegg’s share has dropped from 43% in the second debate to 37%, Gordon Brown down from 35% to 32%, while David Cameron rose from 22% to 31%.

Figure 2: Number of tweets showing positive sentiment towards each party leader

The graph below shows positive tweets made about the leaders during the 2nd election debate on April 22nd.

What is interesting to note here is the peaks and troughs following the questions raised on key issues by the audience. It gives a deeper analysis on instant reaction to the performance of the leaders on each of the issues.

The New York Times has published an interesting article on the importance of analysing sentiment expressed on Social Networking sites, blogs and other online conversations, during political campaigns.

It is predicting that all future political campaigns will need to do this to get deeper insight into public opinion. The trend analysis shown below and also included in  a separate white paper (free to download) is an endorsement of how powerful text mining with I2E can be in this area.

“The company’s (Linguamatics) analysis yielded similar results to traditional political polling, and predicted within one point the percentage of votes the Conservative Party would win.”

We have published  some very interesting analysis of the Twitter activity during the recent UK Election debates.

They have generated a lot of interest by both media and the public.

  • First debate on ITV, April 15th 2010
  • Second debate on Sky, April 22nd 2010. This includes a comparison with the first debate
  • The results from the April 29th program on BBC will appear here after the debate

See our two previous posts for more information.

There is a new view on the instant reactions made on Twitter about party leaders during the second televised election debate, April 22 2010. Preliminary results are published of the linguistic analysis of 169,000 tweets sent by 38,986 twitterers from 8.00pm – 9.30pm on the night of the debate.

Updated results for the analysis of 211,000 tweets sent by 47,420 twitterers from 8.30pm – 10pm on the night of the first UK election debate, April 15 2010, are also presented.

The overall tweet analysis (Figure 1) shows that for the second debate 43% of twitterers who expressed an opinion said that Nick Clegg performed best, down from 57% in the first debate, followed by Gordon Brown (35%, up from 25%), and then David Cameron (22%, up from 18%).

Figure 1: number of tweets showing positive sentiment towards each other

The analysis identified tweets saying that a particular leader was doing well or made a good point, or that they like the leader, etc. Linguistic filtering removed examples which were about expectations, e.g. “I hope the leader will do well”, questions, such as “anyone think the leader is doing well?”, and negations, such as “the leader did not do well” or “the leader made no sense”.