Here’s a very silly idea. Can we use the number of followers each candidate has to predict who will win the election?
No, probably not – but let’s give it a try anyway, eh?
Support on Twitter – as measured by the number of followers – is a reasonable predictor of electoral success.
It is likely that the incumbent MP will have a large number of followers – having been in the public eye for five years and (possibly) being on Twitter that long.
It is also likely that MPs with high-profile jobs – like Chancellor, Leader of the Opposition, etc – will be followed by a range of people outside their constituency. These candidates are usually in safe seats, but not always.
These factors may skew the results.
- Tweepy – a Twitter Library for Python.
- YourNextMP – free and open crowdsourced data about every candidate standing.
YourNextMP provides a CSV showing every candidate in every constituency.
72% of candidates have a Twitter ID listed against their name.
For each constituency, we take all the candidates and, if they have Twitter handles, we see which candidate has the most followers.
This data was collected on the weekend before the election. It took around 2 hours to run thanks to Twitter’s rate limits. Follower numbers may have changed since and during the run.
Based on this extremely unscientific measurement the results are…
|UK Independence Party (UKIP)||36|
|Scottish National Party (SNP)||24|
|Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales||5|
|Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition||5|
|Ulster Unionist Party||5|
|SDLP (Social Democratic & Labour Party)||3|
|Pirate Party UK||2|
|The Respect Party||1|
|Speaker seeking re-election||1|
|Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol||1|
|Democratic Unionist Party – D.U.P.||1|
|Red Flag – Anti-Corruption||1|
|The Independent Political Alliance Party||1|
|Lincolnshire Independents Lincolnshire First||1|
|Scottish Green Party||1|
|Traditional Unionist Voice – TUV||1|
Although that doesn’t look like anything the reputable polls are showing, it does look strikingly close to what proportional representation would achieve. A strong showing from the main parties, but with the absolute need to work with the smaller parties in order to sustain a stable government.
Incidentally, Transmute performed a similar exercise back in February. It’s interesting to see how the data have changed since Election Season kicked off.
Well, come the results on Friday, I’ll update this to show just how accurately this “poll” performed.
There are some obvious deviations from the likely reality.
You want every result? Here you go!
You made it all the way down here? Well done 🙂 Have a Unicode Cookie 🍪