100 Days of David Cameron in tweets

The people over at Tweetminster have been analysing all the activity on Twitter related to the coalition government since David Cameron walked into 10 Downing Street on 11 May. It amounts to over five million tweets and, on the eve of Cameron's 100th day in office, they've released their findings.

From which we learn that:


Tweetminster 100 Days of David Cameron

[Click on the image to enlarge]

  • Sentiment towards the Conservative Party over the past three months has remained largely stable, while for David Cameron it has risen slightly. Meanwhile, sentiment around Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems has dropped away.
  • Three-quarters of links shared by people on the coalition-related tweets were from mainstream media. Nevertheless, influential bloggers like Tim Montgomerie continue to have significant reach.
  • Unsurprisingly David Cameron and Nick Clegg are the most cited names in tweets. Among the other coalition politicians who get a regular mention on Twitter are, in descending order: George Osborne, Michael Gove, Iain Duncan Smith, Vince Cable, Chris Huhne and Eric Pickles.

For more, click on the image above to see a larger version.

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

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Vote Leave have won two referendums. Can they win a third?

The Remain campaign will hope that it is third-time unlucky for Vote Leave's tried-and-tested approach.

Vote Leave have launched a new campaign today, offering a £50m prize if you can guess the winner of every game at the Euros this summer. They’ve chosen the £50m figure as that is the sum that Vote Leave say the United Kingdom send to the European Union every day.

If you wanted to sum up Vote Leave’s approach to the In-Out referendum in a single gimmick, this is surely it, as it is deceitful – and effective. The £50m figure is a double deception – it’s well in excess of what Britain actually pays, and your chances of winning are so small they can only be viewed through an electron microscope. Saying that “the UK pays £50m to the EU” is like saying “I paid £10 for breakfast at Gregg’s this morning” – yes, I paid with a £10 note, but I got £8 back.  The true figure is closer to £26,000 a day.

But the depressing truth is that this sort of fact-free campaigning works – and has worked before. It’s the same strategy that Matthew Elliott, the head of Vote Leave, deployed to devastating effect, when he was head of the No to AV campaign, and that Dominic Cummings, head of strategy at Vote Leave, used when he was in charge of the anti-North East Assembly campaign: focus on costs, often highly-inflated ones, and repeat, over and over again.

This competition is a great vessel for that message, too, with the potential to reach anyone who has at least one Facebook friend with an interest in betting or football, i.e. everyone. And as my colleague Kirsty Styles revealed yesterday, this latest campaign is just one in a series of Internet-based, factually dubious campaigns and adverts being used by Vote Leave on the Internet.

The difficulty for the opponents of No2AV was, as one alumni of that campaign reflected recently, “how do you repudiate it without repeating it?”. A row over whether the United Kingdom sends £50m or £26,000 – itself £1,000 higher than the average British salary – helps the Leave campaign whichever way it ends up.

Neither Yes to Fairer Votes or supporters of a devolved assembly for the North East ever found a defence against the Elliott-Cummings approach. Time is running out for Britain Stronger In Europe to prevent them completing the hattrick. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.