Twitter’s night as record numbers tweet during first leader debate
The number of tweets sent blew the 11,000 who tweeted during the #AsktheChancellors earlier debate away, but although the chatter was fast and furious with the average frequency of tweets standing at 29.06 per second in all the total numbers of tweeters was 36,483.
In terms of big numbers Twitter was outstripped by Facebook. Facebook ended with more than 46,000 fans of its Democracy UK page, but its Rate the Debate app was next to impossible to get onto. Twitter on the other hand didn’t hiccup at all and in terms of sheer chatter, with almost 30 tweets a second, Facebook can not match that. I tweeted away madly and really enjoyed the two screen chatter. It was again perfectly complementary.
It wasn’t just Twitter and Facebook it was the backbone of social media that was also very busy. There was masses of live blogging taking place across the web on the BBC, The Guardian, The FT, The Telegraph and other papers as well as Labourlist and Conservativehome. Looking at some of that this morning you can see the great work that a lot of people did in such a short period of time and the comments they were attracting.
I wrote yesterday ahead of the debates that I had a sense that little of the Twitter (that more so than other social media) activity permeates much beyond the political and media classes. I think that bears out, but it will be interesting to see if those numbers tweeting climb in the second debate particularly as underdog Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg had a break through night and we head for a hung parliament. According to every poll he came out on top, with David Cameron second and Gordon Brown last in all but one poll — seemed harsh to me (but yes I’m biased).
It was always going to be hard for Brown: he’s the incumbent and it must be disappointing for Cameron the challenger. Bookies @coral_politics tweeted:Cameron seems to have been the loser – a Tory majority is in to 4/6 with money for a Hung Parliament.
Labour’s new media spokeswoman Kerry McCarthy MP, tweeted last night: “I’m biased, but Gordon and Clegg seem comfortable, despite Clegg’s stuttering. Cameron seems to be floundering.”
YouGov had Clegg out in front with 51%. An ITV poll of 4,000 viewers put Clegg on 43%, Cameron on 26% and Mr Brown on just 20% while an instant Sky News poll gave Clegg 37%, Brown 32% and Cameron 31%. The three were vying to shine in the campaign’s most influential event so far.