We’ve been looking at what actual Members of Parliament (MPs) are saying about Brexit. This is the output by all the MPs with Twitter accounts over the late Jan – early March period.
This is the first post on this analysis and is about volume. The lines show daily number of tweets and are independent of each other, not stacked.
Interesting things to note are firstly, the volume per party:
(i) Labour (red line) has pretty much the same volume of tweets as all other parties combined.
(ii) The Scottish Nationalists (yellow line) are driving a lot of volume for a relatively small party, having roughly the same volume as the Consrvatives (Tories), who are the largest party in Parliament.
(iii) Tories (purple line) on the whole aren’t (don’t?) using social media.
(iv) Where are the Liberal Democrats (green line)? Yes they are a small party, but they are down in the graphic weeds – if they want to reclaim their past glories, they probably need more of a presence.
Secondly, as one would expect, volume waxes and wanes with major issues – right now it’s the announced £ 1.6bn funding of struggling areas, mainly in Labour constituencies, by a Tory Government hoping to get votes for their deal. Previous major spikes have mainly been around the rounds of major votes in Parliament, and minor spikes are around other policy announcements or various issues that become rows (the early February smaller spike is the announcement that Japanese car manufacturer Nissan will not make the next generation diesel engines in the UK for example).
The volume is predictive of the relative seriousness by which an issue is seen by MP’s, so this latest policy announcement of £1.6bn spending is quite a lot bigger deal than past ones, it’s at the scale of Parliamentary debates. Why that is one can make some guesses at……
In the next few posts we will look at what the various parties are saying, and how they differ from each other in topics, tone and timing.