Daily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation
imageStrong emotions mean you're losing. Sorry, Ed.EPA

In 2015, elections don’t just happen at polling stations around the United Kingdom, they happen on Twitter. With the hashtag #IVoted trending (alongside #dogsatpollingstations), Britons laid out their party colours along with their feelings towards their local candidates and national leaders.

We developed the VoteBEE app to map the mood of the nation using Twitter. It can analyse thousands of tweets a second to extract from each tweet a direct expression of one of eight basic emotions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, shame and confusion. So on the emotional swing-o-meter what did the VoteBEE application uncover during the election day?

What is noticeable throughout May 7 is the volume of emotional tweets for the Tories, but then how all the emotions flatline towards the end of the day.

The shame factor (light green) decreased over the course of the day. The shame spike had started with singer Charlotte Church’s article backing Labour on the NHS which has been a big battle ground for the major parties. After that story broke, the Tories saw very little emotional activity.


VoteBEE, Author provided

Labour has had happiness, surprise and fear dominate the emotional spectrum during polling day. The happiness comes from a post Ed Miliband wrote on the campaign bus while travelling back to his Doncaster North constituency to cast his vote, outlining how proud he was to have worked with the Labour team.


VoteBEE, Author provided

Nick Clegg’s emotional spectrum showed signs of life with big spikes of emotion throughout, until the crucial final day. It is on the last day that the electorate have started to take stock of the situation and the biggest emotion expressed is sadness: not good for Nick.


VoteBEE, Author provided

When we tracked emotions about the Scottish independence referendum using the similar EMOTIVE system, we found that in the final few hours before the polls closed, there were big spikes of emotion for the Yes campaign. But we all know that despite the emotion involved, Scotland voted No by a significant margin, and stayed in the UK.

So what did the spikes mean? They were signs of uncertainty – the voters went for what they knew, which was to stick with the United Kingdom. So the large amounts of emotion expressed for the Labour Party on election day may be bad news for Ed Miliband, and the broadcasters' exit poll certainly points to a strong showing from the Conservatives. It may seem counter-intuitive, but when there are signs of big swings in emotions towards the end of the campaign this is likely to show a decrease in support towards the party.

VoteBEE was developed by scientists at the Centre for Information Management (Professor Tom Jackson, Dr Martin Sykora, Dr Suzanne Elayan, Dr Ann O’Brien) at Loughborough University.

Stay tuned for more analysis throughout the night.

Tom Jackson receives funding from Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Martin Sykora receives funding from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/twitter-app-reveals-emotions-british-people-felt-on-election-day-41489

Writers Wanted

An Indigenous 'Voice' must be enshrined in our Constitution. Here's why


Biden's economic centrism isn't exciting, but right for these divisive times


Why are Japan's leaders clinging to their Olympic hopes? Their political fortunes depend on it


The Conversation


Ray Hadley's interview with Scott Morrison

RAY HADLEY: Prime Minister, good morning.    PRIME MINISTER: G’day Ray.   HADLEY: I was just referring to this story from the Courier Mail, which you’ve probably caught up with today about t...

Ray Hadley & Scott Morrison - avatar Ray Hadley & Scott Morrison

Prime Minister's Remarks to Joint Party Room

PRIME MINISTER: Well, it is great to be back in the party room, the joint party room. It’s great to have everybody back here. It’s great to officially welcome Garth who joins us. Welcome, Garth...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

BEN FORDHAM: Scott Morrison, good morning to you.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Ben. How are you?    FORDHAM: Good. How many days have you got to go?   PRIME MINISTER: I've got another we...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Tips to find the best plastic manufacturing supplier for your needs

Plastics are very much an important part of all of our lives, but they’re particularly valuable to a wide variety of industries that rely on their production for their operations. The industries, ...

News Co - avatar News Co

7 foolproof tips for bidding successfully at a property auction

Auctions can be beneficial for prospective buyers, as they are transparent and fair. If you reach the limit you are willing to pay, you can simply walk away. Another benefit of an auction is tha...

Dominique Grubisa - avatar Dominique Grubisa

Getting Ready to Code? These Popular and Easy Programming Languages Can Get You Started

According to HOLP (History Encyclopedia of Programing Languages), there are more than 8,000 programming languages, some dating as far back as the 18th century. Although there might be as many pr...

News Co - avatar News Co

News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion