As this week draws to a close, the data team at Trafalgar Strategy tracked and analysed the sentiment of tweets about the Prime Minister. Over a one week period, they tracked a sample of 15k tweets and visualised the data on a swingometer, to assess the Twitter fallout and measure the damage done to a Prime Minister whose time in Downing Street could well be up.
Unsurprisingly, as revelations emerged about a Christmas Party at Downing street last year, the public reaction on Twitter has been visceral and swift. Throughout the week – as shown on the swingometer – sentiment has nosedived. Starting low, the average sentiment expressed on Twitter has fallen by almost 50% over the past seven days.
Angela Rayner perfectly summed up the mood – with the best performing Tweet on the topic – accusing the Prime Minister of consistently breaking rules and taking the British public for fools. Not one to shy away from attacking the Prime Minister, Anna Soubry used similar language in an attack on the Prime Minister that focused not on COVID, or parties, but the Prime Minister’s plans to allow ministers to throw out legal rulings they don’t support.
Although one would expect both Rayner and Soubry to attack the Prime Minister, of more concern should be the normal, non-Westminster Twitter users who’ve reacted with outrage. One such user, @stevewright58 found overwhelming Twitter support when he tweeted: “Hey @BorisJohnson my mum just found out about the Downing Street parties last year, when she was terrified to come to ours. God help you if she gets hold of you.” Despite only having just over 380 followers, the tweet was shared over 2,300 times and liked by more than 13k users.
Commenting on the findings, Giles Kenningham said: “The Conservative party is, and has always been a ruthless electioneering machine – with no compunction in replacing leaders unable to deliver at the ballot box.”