Monday, 10 May 2010

#ge2010 UK general election night as seen through Twitter Trends - event TV prompts social discussion (again)

The UK general election may not have seen social media as influential in voting decisions as people expected, but as results came in people tweeted continuously. Twitter Trends shows the top terms being used on Twitter across the world at any moment in time and UK election discussion showed up prominently on these lists throughout the results night coverage. I took a snapshot at half hour intervals and the response of Twitterer's to events is clear.

The other interesting thing is that this is (nearly) all based on information sourced from TV broadcasts, with Twitter users then relaying points and discussing them accordingly.

2200 UK election Twitter Trends - Voting stations close and Exit Poll announced. The Channel 4 alternative election show (#c4altelection), after prominently showing in Twitter Trends all night, continues to trend whilst #ge2010, BBC and Tories are also in the Global Twitter Trends list:

UK election Twitter Trends results night 2200
2230 UK election Twitter Trends - #ge2010 now number 1 topic + Labour, LibDems and #ukelection join the list

UK election Twitter Trends results night 2230
2300 UK election Twitter Trends - #ge2010 remains number one in the most tweeted phrases on Twitter, #ukelection has moved up the list, C4 coverage continues to be discussed and BBC + Labour and Tories also on the list (still not enough election tweeting to remove Justin Bieber!):
UK election Twitter Trends results night 23002330 - UK election Twitter Trends - still waiting for first results, little change to the Twitter Trends:
UK election Twitter Trends results night 2330
0000 UK election Twitter Trends - results start to arrive and things start to liven up! Sunderland Central (a distant Conservative target) is announced and shows an increase in turnout but a swing of 4.85%, less than the 12.8% swing needed for the seat to change hands. Cue discussion:

UK election Twitter Trends results night 00000030 UK election Twitter Trends - Joan Collins enters the fray, at one point she was number one Trending Topic on Twitter but by 0030 she had moved back to number two - the reason, she was interviewed at the BBC election night boat party:

'Why do you think David Cameron would make a good Prime Minister?'

'Well I think that he’s very, er, serious. I think that although he’s serious he has a sense of humour. I think he has a Presidential look and I think he’s going to be very good for the country and I think he’s very for the family which to me is incredibly important and I think it’s been forgotten with the Labour government the family, the real family, the nuclear family' 'Back to the studio....':
UK election Twitter Trends results night 00300100 UK election Twitter Trends - Northern Ireland results cause a lot of conversation, Sinn Fein featured on Twitter Trends after winning seats and Peter Robinson's defeat by the Alliance Party in Belfast East is a major shock:

UK election Twitter Trends results night 0100
0130 UK election Twitter Trends - huge swing from Labour to the Conservatives in Kingswood and the Liberal Democrats (against the odds) hold on to Torbay:

UK election Twitter Trends results night 01300200 UK election Twitter Trends - the peak of tweeting according to the BBC. To chants of 'Yes, We Khan!' Sadiq Khan holds Tooting and Gordon Brown's result comes through from Kirkcaldy, with Derek Jackson from the 'Land Is Power' party (recipient of 57 votes) wearing shades and holding his arm aloft from behind Gordon Brown throughout his winner's speech:

UK election Twitter Trends results night 0200
UK election Gordon Brown count Land Is Power Derek Jackson Derek Jackson from the Land Is Power party standing behind Gordon Brown

0230 UK election Twitter Trends
- #Nowplaying replaces #ge2010 as top Trend, Labour regain Glasgow East after losing it to the SNP in a 2008 by-election and celebrity MP Lembit Opik is thrown out in Montgomeryshire resulting in lots of (amused) tweets:

UK election Twitter Trends results night 02300300 UK election Twitter Trends - as the UK heads to bed, election tweeting starts to fall out of the Twitter Trends as things like 'Iron Man 2' and random hashtags start to come back to dominate the Global Trends list:

UK election Twitter Trends results night 0300Election night tweeting is another example of how TV can spur online conversation. Like Eurovision in 2009 and the X-Factor last year, event TV drives social discussion. The election night Twitter conversation was driven by result declarations, proclamations (not picked up here, but Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2230 congratulations tweet to David Cameron caused lots of discussion) and TV moments such as the Joan Collins interview, as people watching shared their thoughts and comments with others. Portillo moments (or should they now be called 'Lembit moments') now last longer than a moment, living in through the online debate and conversation.....

I watched the TV coverage with an open laptop, with windows open for the Telegraph's Twitterfall and live results pages, as well as the BBC website. Election campaigning may not have seen much of a role for Twitter, but the election coverage (particularly on results night) made great use of live blogging, tweeting and social platforms to augment the traditional election night fare.

The only disappointment was the fact that there was no final result........

Related posts

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Google 2010 UK election insights hub
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#LeadersDebate takes 6 of top 10 trending topics on Twitter
Martin Tod uses QR code and Twitter address on election poster

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