As pundits poured over Starmer’s maiden in-person speech to the Labour Party conference, our data team trawled through the reactions on social media. Over 150k tweets were analysed and then visualised, see above. In the graph, each point represents a Twitter account and its size is based on engagement levels.
Overall, Keir Starmer can start to breathe a sigh of relief. Thanks to the efforts of Angela Rayner and Alastair Campbell, a pro-Starmer line quickly gained traction in the aftermath.
Starmer should be wary of Corbyn loyalists who are not quite ready to give up on the far-lefty project. John McDonnell, Diane Abbott and Jon Trickett all came out in a seemingly orchestrated move to remind the Twittersphere that Starmer – contrary to his speech – supported the 2019 Labour manifesto. Despite all three tweets performing well, they ultimately failed to outperform Starmer’s allies on the day.
However, what should concern Starmer is an attack from Lowkey, a vocal and loyal Corbyn acolyte whose tweet – attacking Starmer for his failure to prosecute sexual assault cases when Director of Public Prosecutions – had the most engagement on the day.
Yet most concerning – for Starmer and Labour strategists – should be the reaction to a tweet from Angel Rayner attempting to reclaim Labour’s working-class roots. When we dug into the comments, we found a sizable backlash from disgruntled Twitter users — angrily pointing out Starmer’s failure to back the £15 minimum wage, his support for the EU or the party’s abandonment of working-class communities.