The role of Social Media in the General Election

Last night British election history was made, with the first US-style televised debate between the three Prime Ministerial hopefuls, drawing 9.4 milli…

Last night British election history was made, with the first US-style televised debate between the three Prime Ministerial hopefuls, drawing 9.4 million viewers. Instant polls all placed Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats – that’s right, there is a third option!) ahead of David Cameron (Conservatives) and Gordon Brown (Labour).
At Cogs, we also feel that history is being made right now – this is the first general election since the emergence of Web 2.0, and some already refer to this election as the first “Facebook-election”. The Democracy UK page got over 46,000 fans, and its Rate the Debate app repeatedly crashed as its servers were overloaded by interest.

Interestingly though, it was a hiccup-free Twitter who grabbed all the attention last night, with over 30 tweets per second being recorded (185,000 in total), sent by 36,483 different users.

With live blogs on the BBC, the Guardian, the Financial Times and The Telegraph websites, it’s becoming very difficult to reject the claims that social media has made the transition from online world, to an increasingly useful life tool. We are definitely very interested to see what further developments will be made in the social media/politics relationship. And will we see a Liberal government? Stay tuned (or logged-in)…

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