UK poll: Tweeple more positive to Tories than Labour

Researchers at the University of Stirling in Scotland have found that the average sentiment over the past week towards the Labour Party has been negative by around 4%.

world Updated: Jun 09, 2017 03:00 IST
People walk around Parliament Square on election day in Westminster, London, on June 8, 2017. Polling stations opened across Britain on Thursday amid heightened security worries following a series of terror attacks in what one senior police official described as "unprecedented times'.' (AP)

An analysis of the Twittersphere by researchers at University of Stirling shows that the average sentiment over the past week towards Labour has been negative overall by around 4%, but was positive to the Conservatives by around 18%.

On average, across the week, more than 52% of the sentiment expressed about Labour on Twitter was negative. This figure was almost unchanged based on tweets on Wednesday, the Scotland-based university said.

Over the same time period, 59% of feeling expressed on Twitter about the Conservatives was positive. This figure fell by around 6% on Wednesday, a day before polling day.

The researchers examined nearly one million tweets between June 1 and June 7.

Amir Hussain, director of the Cognitive Big Data InformaticsResearch Lab at the university, said: “We have employed a unique big data analytics approach...Our technology, called sentic computing, extracts natural language 'concepts' to analyse Twitter sentiments, as opposed to other conventional techniques which pull out 'keywords' and 'bag of words'.

“The sentiment trends we have uncovered appear to reflect average national opinion polls. Our analysis further shows a temporary surge in negative sentiment towards both parties, coinciding with the tragic terrorist attack in London on Saturday.”

He added, “It will be interesting to see how these social media interactions translate to actual votes cast. If we do indeed see a correlation, social media sentiment analysis could be another useful indicator for predicting future election outcomes.”

First Published: Jun 08, 2017 17:57 IST