Lexalytics’ partner, Falcon Social, recently wrote about the surprising results of the recent election in the UK. Even more surprising? According to their data, social media predicted it.
Falcon Social began by tracking web mentions of the main parties. Of those mentions, a full 90% were Twitter based. Initial results didn’t look promising for the election-prediction hypothesis – UKIP overwhelmed social media mentions while winning only 1% of the seats in parliament.
“UKIP’s social strategy boiled down to garnering the biggest reaction, not necessarily the most support for party policies. Spearheaded by a leader constantly antagonising social media users and stirring controversy, UKIP managed to make the most noise and be the most entertaining – but evidently this didn’t help them win votes.”
Once UKIP was removed from the results, they became a lot more revealing. Falcon Social tracked the parties’ Facebook engagement and found the Conservative Party, who managed to maintain control of parliament, garnered not only the most page likes, but also the most new page likes in the two weeks before the election. The Lib Dems, who lost 47 seats this election, on the other hand, showed an engagement level of almost zero.
Falcon Social’s social media analysis of the UK’s election may not conclusively answer the question of whether social media can predict elections, but it does point to social media as a crucial aspect of the evolving political arena. If politicians and parties want to stay relevant, they’re going to need to listen and engage with social media.
To read more about Falcon Social’s analysis of the UK Elections, click here.