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4 May 2011

AV campaigns fail to stir the Twittersphere

People care about the AV referendum only slightly more than they do about Channel 4 News an

By Duncan Robinson

Poor old AV. It was supposed to be a historic moment – the first referendum since the 1970s and a big chance to reshape British politics. Instead, it has degenerated into a Westminister village slanging match, as the public looks on bewildered and uninterested.

The apathy of the public at large – well, those who are on Twitter, anyway – can be seen in the graphic below, put together by Tweetminster and Portland Communications.

(Click on the image to enlarge.)

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The AV campaigns, both for and against, muster a measly 232 tweets per hour. By contrast, Newsnight receives 466 tweets per hour, while recent events in Syria receive more than 2,500. The AV debate does, however, receive more interest than Greek bond yields and Channel 4 News.

To put this into context, Britain’s Got Talent – which features opera-singing dogs and people pretending to be dolphins – receives 64,836 tweets an hour, while 514,845 people tweeted about the large collection of posh people playing dress-up last Friday.

In other words: very few people care about AV. Hidden behind the royal wedding and Osama Bin Laden being bumped off, the campaigns both for and against AV have failed to crescendo. Voter turnout is expected to be low. The nation will give a clear answer when it fails to vote tomorrow. Yes or no? “Whatever.”