Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Top 20 Tory & Labour Twitterers

I last compiled this list in April 2009. The number after the name is the number of followers a particular Tweeter has.,

1. - Boris Johnson 64, 124
2. +3 Jonathan Sheppard 21,737
3. -1 Conservative Party 18,555
4. -1 Iain Dale 7,604
5. +1 Grant Shapps 5,754
6. N TrueBlueBlood 4,908
7. -3 James Cleverly 3,710
8. - Tim Montgomerie 3,261
9. +4 Louise Bagshawe 2,387
10. +2 Tory Bear 2,172
11. N Eric Pickles 2,156
12. N Danny Finkelstein 1,889
13. -3 Craig Elder 1,837
14. N Henry Macrory 1,817
15. N Dan Hannan 1,552
16. N Nadine Dorries 1,538
17. N Samuel Coates 1,486
18. N Tory Politico 1,332
19. -4 Jonathan Isaby 1,315
20. -4 Shane Greer 1,278

If you know a Conservative who should be in this list please tell me in the comments.

I have also compiled the Top 20 Labour tweeters. This list is probably more inaccurate, so please, again let me know if you know of Labour members with more supporters than any of those listed below.

1. Sarah Brown 1,121,525
2. Alastair Campbell 14,328
3. John Prescott 12,888
4. Tom Watson 7,314
5. David Miliband 7,186
6. Ed Miliband 5,686
7. Lord Drayson 5,448
8. Ed Balls 5,029
9. Kerry McCarthy 4,827
10. Sadiq Khan 3,876
11. David Lammy 3,637
12. LabourList 3,419
13. Ben Bradshaw 3,042
14. The Fabians 2,975
15. Tom Harris 2,839
16. Stuart Bruce 2,718
17. Kevin Maguire 2,680
18. Cath Elliott 2,611
19. Ellie Gellard 2,177
20. Sion Simon 1,945

Mark Reckons has compiled a list of the Top 20 LibDem Tweeters HERE.

Labour bloggers have been happily retweeting all evening that the next election on Twitter will be between the "Tory machine" and "Labour's grassroots activists". This was the way Tweetminster put it in their report, published today. Assuming that party officials, candidates and MPs are defined as the "party machine" I'd say Tweetminster have got it the wrong way round judging by these two lists. Twelve out of the Top 20 Labour tweeters are in the party machine, compared with 11 Tories.

The full tweetminster report can be read HERE. Unless you have a life.

UPDATE: Tweetminster have written a response to this HERE. I don't really disagree with it. Of course being retweeted and mentioned confers influence. I never denied that. But I do think they underestimate the influence of the number of actual followers. I accept that if a proportion of those followers are Spam Bots, it is a problem, but I always vet my new followers to prevent that being an issue, and if I spot any, I block them.


Sunder Katwala said...

Can we put register a bid for @thefabians which is on 2975 please.

I found the Tweetminster report is good and fair. Rather hyper-partisan of you to be so disdainful? Not the sort of thing we like to see from our leftie friends on your Total Politics poll!

Followers are less important than engagement/influence: Kerry McCarthy especially, and also Nick Clegg, Eric Pickles all stand out in the tweetminster report on that.

Even on a follower measure, your 13/20 vs 11/20 doesn't take into account that 10th place in the Tory list would rank 19th in Labour. So that may mainly capture the relatively much narrower participation of Tory MPs compared to Labour MPs.

The other report suggests a broader Labour base. I expect there are several more non-machine Labour voices (like me!) who'd register parallel with the top 15-20 of the Tory list but don't make the Labour cut.

Iain Dale said...

Sunder, Fabians added.

I thought my final comment was clearly tongue in cheek. It wasn't meant to be partisan.

It is impossible to define engagement/influence. I don't consider Kerry McCarthy to be very influential on anything to be hinest and if engagement means tweeting every minute of the day to a group of left wing groupies, then the whole of Twitter is in deep trouble. Do Clegg and Pickles really engage?

The issue or relating people you follow to your followers is fatuous. I follow about 500 people but I think frankly, it is impossible to follow more than 100-150 people in any meaningful way. Kerry McCarthy follows over 4,000 people. What fraction of their tweets does she actually read? It it's more than 5% I'd say she has use of time issues!

What does a broader base mean? Hundreds of Labour tweeters with 50-100 followers? Does that really confer influence?

I do think this is an interesting report. But that's as far as it goes.

Twitter is not a good political campaigning tool and it's about time people stopped pretending it has any real influence beyond the Westminster political and media village.

It's useful to people like you and me, but a PPC in a constituency? I doubt it very much.

Sunder Katwala said...

Thanks for reply. I broadly agree with the last point about where/who it matters for. I think it is and will change cultures and debates within parties and other relatively elite civic/media spaces rather more than voter engagement.

(Though I could imagine there may be a slice particularly of 18-24 and 24-29 voters who might gauge politician's interest in engagement on whether they are accessible/responsive in social networking spaces, both at a national level and sometimes constituency-based).

JohnRS said...

So after all the hype about how Twitter was going to change the face of the election campaign, all that we see are a few thousand Twitter-folk following a tiny number of well known faces. Pretty unimpressive, especially when you can be pretty sure that a lot of them are from in or around the "bubble" anyway.

What's the betting that many of these are the same Twitter-folk following more than one politician reducing the actual number of individuals involved even further? Pretty good I reckon.

Anonymous said...

Id tweetminster cant see that actually Labour have a clearly centralised policy to use twitter (see their users) then their research is really really questionable.

Anonymous said...

Ed Vaizey has to go - you have 21 Tories on there.

tchee said...

I think generally Twitter is a case of preaching to the converted. I would hazard a guess that not many people have joined Twitter and exerienced a political epiphany. Rather, they will have merely confirmed the common perception that politics is dominated by a small elite group. Oh and, it's not what you know, but who.

There are some very hard-working (Labour) activists such as Kev Peel, Grace Fletcher-Hackwood and the Labour Students who use Twitter very effectively and have a huge impact on campaigning, even though they may not have the number of followers that some on your list do.

Remember, it's not what you've got, it's how you use it that counts!

Unknown said...

You've inspired me!

Here's a list of Who's Who in Scottish Political Tweetery

50 Calibre said...

Lists are boring blogfodder...