Tweetminster Predicts - the Lib Dem surge is reflected on Twitter too

Once again, we’re publishing the updated figures of our experiment in predictive modelling that aims to study the correlation between word-of-mouth and election results.

There are now 402 constituencies mentioned on Twitter (up 13 from 389). The latest top-line figures are CON 33% (-2) LAB 32% (nc) LDEM 28% (+5) Others 7% (-3).

The Liberal Democrat surge is therefore also reflected within buzz on Twitter. The figures also show how the change is mainly focussed around a shift in support from the Conservatives and from other parties to the Liberal Democrats.

Support for Labour seems to be less dented. In fact, if we look at constituency-level predictions (where there are still 367 constituencies on Twitter with at least one candidate from the three main parties), Labour drops to 142 forecast seats out of the 367 analysed (from 151), while the Conservatives fall to 131 seats (from 148). The Liberal Democrats surge to 83 (from 55). While other parties drop to 11 seats (from 13). 

While we are as always keen to emphasise that ours is an experiment in predictive modelling and not a poll, it’s worth highlighting how our figures have consistently suggested that the Liberal Democrats would score higher than the polls were suggesting, and specifically would perform well in many CON-LDEM contested seats in the South West. This week’s figures further emphasise these trends.

In conclusion, one interesting angle of interpretation of the Leaders’ Debate and recent polls is the impact of television when seen in the context of the mechanisms of “attention” - last week, the Liberal Democrats had the same attention that is usually reserved to the two main parties. Such attention, coupled with the media and public attention that followed, have - of course on a far larger scale (the debate was watched by 10 million people, while just over 36,000 people tweeted about it) - dynamics and implications not too dissimilar from “mentions” and “word-of-mouth” on social media - the impact that all this will have on the final result will make the next few weeks even more fascinating.  

We have also updated the paper of the study, and will update the site on Monday morning.   

Posted at Sun, Apr 18th 2010, 17:15

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