On the 15th April 2010 a UK first happened where we saw the 3 main political party leaders engage in a live TV debate – much like US guys have been doing for many years.
While the debate had 70 or so ‘rules’ that the leaders had to abide by it has to be said that the debate lived up to it’s billing drawing in a huge audience of nearly 10million people doubling the size of the usual ITV audience.
So, if nearly 10million people watched the debate what did they think?
We used Social Radar to find out.
First stop was to look at the volume of conversations, be they on Twitter, blogs, forums, etc that each of the leaders and parties attracted over the coming days.
It is very evident from the above chart that the dominance of Nick Clegg and his approach to the debate has catalysed online conversation around him as the leader of the Liberal Democrats and also his party. Surprisingly David Cameron managed to gain more conversation online than Gordon Brown but as always was this conversation of a positive or negative persuasion?
As we can see from the above chart the online conversation volume around David Cameron, whilst being larger in volume than the other two leaders, was almost 20% more negative towards him and the Conservative party proving that in this scenario more is definitely not better. Amazingly Nick Clegg steals a sentiment score of or around 75% positive which, to his credit, seemed quite deserved from the way in which he came across on the night.
We then took a look so see what the major topics were that people were aligning with the Leaders Debate over the following 48hrs.
We cross tabbed the most popular terms / words being used in the discussions with sentiment to achieve a holistic view on how the debate was received in general but also to see what the most discussed themes were and whether these were agreeable with the audience or not.
The Leaders Debate was received very well indeed across Twitter as a general theme. Nick Clegg, as we know, was received very positively and was discussed frequently. However, David Cameron as the most discussed topic, second only to the actual debate itself, was simply received well. Diving deeper into this area we were able to see that the online public just did not understand the position he took on the night, didn’t like the way in which he seemed to be ‘buddying up’ with Nick Clegg (Hung Parliment springs to mind!) and overall his Angry Dad persona was just not liked.
So, over the coming weeks I will continue to monitor the Leader Debates and report back the top-line findings from Social Radar as the debacle unfolds…