The UK General Election is tomorrow – May 6. Are you ready? Will Gordon Brown from the governing Labour Party secure a 4th consecutive term in office? Will the Conservative Party grab the most votes and gain a dominant position? Or will the Liberal Democrats hold the balance of power and form a hung parliament?
NATIONAL POLLING RESULTS
Many British research and polling consulting companies have been tracking the national polling results closely. The two charts below are by UK Opinion Poll Tracker and Forecast UK, a private electoral prediction project.
Both poll trackers predict that The Conservative Party will win by a higher share and grab governance. The momentum is really strong too. But being a search marketer, I want to see what Google says and what sentiments are present in social media too to see if that indicates who will emerge victorious in the UK general election tomorrow. So let's look at what are people are searching for and what they're talking about.
GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS
The leaders of each UK political party are:
- Gordon Brown – Labour Party
- David Cameron – Conservative Party
- Nick Clegg – Liberal Democrats
The candidates campaign aggressively to win votes for their own party and seek the position of Prime Minister, so their performance and popularity is a key indicator too. A quick search on Google shows the following results:
And don’t forget Google Trends.
Here we can see that Gordon Brown and the Labour Party are more popular in Google's search results across almost all indicating categories: all results, images, videos, news and Google Trends. It appears that Brown and the Labour Party's dominance in Google is contradicting the National Polling results. Will the popularity of Gordon Brown and the Labour Party in Google translate into election day success?
SOCIAL MEDIA INDICATORS
When it comes to gauging public sentiment and trending topics, search marketers must never forget social media, where candidates often engage with the communities (think Barak Obama) and can sway and influence voters on a mass scale.
Clearly, Nick Clegg and his party are leading on social media platforms, with more Facebook fans, more Twitter followers and are mentioned more on Twitter. The Conservative Party unexpectedly does a great job on Twitter (most of the time liberal parties and leaders are more inclined to social media), and in general David Cameron and his party perform much better and the competitor: Gordon Brown and the Labour Party. Are the Conservative Party and David Cameron also trending higher?
Apparently not. Both Trendistic and TweetVolume indicate that people tweet more about the Labour Party than the Conversative Party, although the latter has more followers. The Conservative Party is barely mentioned.
What does all this social media analysis tell us?
There’s a possibility that the party with a younger leader will devote more time and energy into social media and naturally has more followers and fans. Gordon Brown is 59, David Cameron is 44, and Nick Clegg is 43. So that sounds right. But the amount of followers and fans do not necessarily transfer to popularity and favorability. The absense of the Conservative Party on Trendistic and TweetVolume indicate they are not that popular in the social media sphere.
Is social media a reliable tool to predict election results? It definitely is. For evidence, go back to the recent Massachusetts State Senate Elections where WordStream successfully predicted that Scott Brown would beat Martha Coakley in the Senator race. There, social media results clearly predicted a winner.
So Who's Going to Win the UK Election?
Judging by the popularity and visibility signals from Google and all the chatter in social media, it seems clear that Gordon Brown and the Labour Party will win the 2010 UK General Election tomorrow.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to post them in the comment fields below.