Cicero Elections has run a thematic analysis of the tweets issued during Labour Party Conference. By looking at the contents of tweets using the #lab14 hashtag, we have been able to compare social media output between the Labour conferences in 2013 and 2014, and gain a fascinating insight into how the Labour Party have been discussing and addressing key policy areas on twitter:
NHS: The social media response to the Labour conference in 2014 has overwhelmingly been around the NHS, appearing in 53% of the tweets using #Lab 14. There were almost twice as many mentions of the NHS this year compared to 2013.
Energy: Where the energy price freeze was the central issue to come out of the 2013 Labour conference, there were far fewer mentions of it on social media after the 2014 conference, falling from 37% of the tweets to only 8%.
Cameron: David Cameron featured in approximately the same number of tweets across both years, clearly as a reference point but overshadowed by the issues discussed.
UKIP: From 4% of the tweets to 7% in 2014, the share of voice for UKIP mentions has almost doubled. However, despite that, it was still a very minor topic on social media.
Economy: For what you would expect to be one of the most discussed topics and largest battlegrounds of an election campaign, mentions of the economy fell as a proportion in 2014, interestingly below the number of UKIP mentions.
Benefits: Benefits have been a minor topic of discussion across the two years: its proportion has stayed roughly the same but where it was fifth on the list in 2013 it is last in the comparison for 2014.
Immigration: It has been noted that immigration did not feature prominently as a topic in 2014, and UKIP received twice as many mentions with the Lab14 hashtag as immigration.
Deficit: Mentions of the word deficit are on opposite sides of this list but across both years garnered very little attention. It is possible that its omission from Miliband’s speech caused a large number of the tweets discussing it.