Top 10 Twitter #leadersdebate topics

Economy, immigration and a 65-year-old woman.

The first half of the final leaders' debate was devoted to the economy. Appropriate, therefore, that six of the ten most popular topics on the Twittersphere during the full 90 minutes on Thursday night were economy-related (see graph below).

"Tax" dominated "cuts" by a factor of ten, while "benefits", "deficit", "National Insurance" and the "economy" itself were all words that regularly peppered the election-related tweets.

But given Gordon Brown's experiences in Rochdale the previous day, it's no surprise to see both "Bigotgate" (more than 1,600 mentions in 90 minutes) and "immigration" featuring strongly.



Meanwhile, Nick Clegg continues to hold his own in the social media conversation, getting as many mentions as his two rivals. Again, as in the first debate, his name recognition and its use is not matched by that of his party (see graph below).



Note: These numbers are based on how frequently topics, parties and people were mentioned on Twitter between 8pm and 9.30pm on Thursday 29 April. The figures are adjusted to make sure that only mentions relating to the general election are considered. Mentions can be positive, negative or neutral, and should not be confused with popularity. The NS Digital Dashboard is powered by Resolver Systems.



Jon Bernstein, former deputy editor of New Statesman, is a digital strategist and editor. He tweets @Jon_Bernstein. 

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