General Election 2017: Labour races into lead over Conservatives | Politics | News


Labour overtook the Conservatives in the social media war over the last week

An analysis of posts from the main official accounts between May 9 and May 16 suggests social media users are now responding more positively to Labour – with posts on the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn pages on Twitter and Facebook averaging more shares and positive reactions across both platforms than any other party. 

The Conservative Party had previously averaged 105 more likes or loves per post on Facebook than Labour, and Theresa May had averaged 500 shares per post more than Jeremy Corbyn on Facebook, according to The study of posts from the first three weeks of the campaign. 

But the latest data shows Labour overtook the Tories on all fronts, with users more likely to like and share posts from Labour and Jeremy Corbyn than the Conservatives and Theresa May, on average. 

Labour averaged 112 more positive reactions per post on Facebook over the period measured, while Mr Corbyn averaged more than 1,000 extra shares per post. 

• Labour hone their message 

The early weeks of the campaign saw the two main parties drawing clear battle lines in terms of how they define the election. Whereas the Conservative Party sought to pitch the election as a clash of personalities between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit, Labour preferred to focus on policy issues, such as healthcare, policing and education. 

However, Labour’s messaging over the last week has become more focused and aggressive, according to the analysis, with the number of posts which mention the campaign slogan “for the many” increasing by 4 per cent on Facebook and 9 per cent on Twitter. 

Labour posts about policy issues increased slightly from 20 per cent of the total to 24 per cent, and posts mentioning either of the party leaders also rose marginally from 19 per cent to 22 per cent. 


Posts from Labour’s official accounts on both Facebook and Twitter receiving more shares

But neither the Labour Party nor Jeremy Corbyn mentioned Brexit in their posts on social media at any point across the week. 

By contrast, the Conservative Party increased its messaging around Brexit from 20 per cent of posts across Facebook and Twitter to almost a third (30 per cent). 

However, the party’s posts did not mention the NHS or police at any point. Schools were mentioned just once, in a promotional post for a “telephone townhall” in which Mrs May answered questions on Facebook Live, which broadcast on Monday. 

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