The Brexit Party’s Twitter breakthrough

The Brexit Party’s Twitter breakthrough

The smaller parties are increasing their lead in the EU elections Twitter war
Analysis of Twitter by Portland found that ahead of the EU elections the two major parties could be faltering even more than the public polls suggest. In recent days and weeks, engagement with smaller parties on Twitter, particularly The Brexit Party, has grown rapidly.

The Brexit Party’s Twitter breakthrough
Since April 22nd the Brexit Party have received over 3 million mentions on Twitter. After overtaking Labour just after the Local Elections, The Brexit Party are now receiving more than 3x more Twitter mentions than Labour in relation to the EU elections.

Brexit party EU Mission - tracked

The rise of The Brexit Party’s Twitter profile has been reflected in their rise in public EU election polls. In past weeks, mentions of The Brexit Party and the EU election outstripped their rapid rise in the polls. Between April 29th and May 19th alone, daily mentions of The Brexit Party grew by 142% from 59k to 144k.

Brexit Twitter Mentions V3

Smaller parties are dominating the most influential conversations on Twitter

While remarkable, the Brexit Party isn’t the only party winning the EU Elections Twitter war. With 84% of the UK Twitter conversation around the EU election coming from retweets, Portland found that smaller parties with the clearest Brexit messages are gaining most traction.

Considering the importance of retweets, Portland analysed the 100 most influential Tweets that cut through and found that:

  • Green MP Caroline Lucas has the most influential Tweet to date about the EU elections, reflecting on the Green Party’s success at the local election and the PR system

Brexit - Caroline Lucas

  • Analysis of Twitter by Portland also found that none of the 100 most influential Tweets supported the Conservative Party
  • Labour ranked 5th with only 4 supportive influential Tweets, behind the Liberal Democrats, Brexit Party, Green Party and Change UK
  • Tweets supporting the Lib Dems, Brexit Party, Greens and Change UK were jointly responsible for 58% of the most influential Tweets. Only 4% were supportive of the two major parties

Gregor Poynton, a former Labour party strategist and a Partner at Portland, said:

“Although Twitter is not representative of the country, the data clearly identifies huge enthusiasm for the smaller parties as we head into polling day. We saw a similar surge on social for the Labour party during the short campaign in 2017, however at that time most of the public polling lagged behind as an indicator of the strength of their support. This time polling is keeping pace as it shows the two major parties have fallen behind the Brexit Party, Lib Dems and Greens.

“What this data points to is that, in a lower turnout election, the picture for the two main parties may even be bleaker than they think, as a clear position on Brexit is driving reach and engagement on Twitter and is on the cusp of turning into real world support at the ballot box.”

Portland analysis: the 100 most retweeted EU Elections Tweets in the UK by their explicit support for each party.

Political Party % of most influential Tweets supportive
Liberal Democrats22%
The Brexit Party15%
The Green Party11%
Change UK10%
Conservative Party0%
Tweets not aligned to a party34%
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