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  1. ITV Report

Labour takes early lead in online battleground

Labour takes early lead in online battleground Credit: Twitter

The first battles of the election on social media have seen wins on Facebook for Labour while some of the smaller parties have had good impact on Twitter, analysis by the Press Association has shown.

All of the parties are using social media to reach potential voters, but it is Plaid Cymru and the Greens who have seen the biggest growth in followers relative to the size of their social following on Twitter.

Both parties have grown their Twitter following by 1% since the start of the campaign. The SNP trails the other parties with just 0.1% growth.

Martin Freeman talks about the choice between the Tories and Labour. Credit: YouTube

The biggest hit scored on social media to date is Labour's release of the Martin Freeman video, which has been viewed more than 215,000 times on YouTube and was shared more than 4,500 times from Labour's own Facebook page.

Labour's Facebook page is growing by more than three times the rate of its main rivals but the party still lags behind the Conservatives in terms of total fans.

Martin Freeman's video helped Labour secure some good figures on Facebook. Credit: Facebook/ Labour

The Conservatives' main Facebook page is by far the largest of the main parties, with 363,800 likes, compared with Labour which has 345,000. Ukip is proving to have most success on Facebook in terms of garnering engagement from its followers. For each post on the social network, the party is getting more than 10,000 likes, comments or shares, more than double the success rate of the Conservatives and five times that of the Labour Party.

On Twitter David Cameron tops the leaders for followers:

  • David Cameron 951,000
  • Ed Miliband 404,000
  • Nick Clegg 218,000
  • Nigel Farage 200,000
  • Nicola Sturgeon 137,000
  • Natalie Bennett 55,300
  • Leanne Wood 15,000
David Cameron is the most followed leader. Credit: Twitter/ David Cameron

According to ElectUK, an app built to help voters track Twitter trends, Mr Miliband and Mr Cameron have been the most talked-about politicians, both with 19.6% each of all mentions in the last week. They are followed by Mr Farage with 4.6%.

The firm said Mr Cameron has had 21.8% positive mentions and 29.8% negative mentions, while Mr Miliband has had 22.6% positive mentions and 27% negative mentions.

Since the start of the campaign, the Liberal Democrats have gone into overdrive, tweeting more than 110 times a day on their official party accounts.

Ukip is the second most prolific tweeter, with 44 tweets per day, followed by Labour at 36, Plaid Cymru on 26, the SNP and Conservatives on 23, and the Green Party tweeting sparingly at 19 times a day.

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