SNP politicians ‘most effective’ on social media

SNP politicians are “particularly effective” campaigners on social media with all 56 of the new Nationalst MPs using Twitter, research has found.

Scotlands First Minister Nicola Sturgeon now has 213,000 followers on twitter. Picture: Jon Savage

It is now the most effective communication tool for politicians as it helps them engage with the younger generation, according to the firm behind the data says.

Analysis from online monitoring tool Yatterbox shows a record 571 MPs (88 per cent) are on Twitter. This compares to only 111 MPs who were active on the site in 2010.

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All 56 of the SNP’s new MPs tweet, while 90 per cent (207) of Labour MPs and 277 (84 per cent) of Conservative MPs also tweet.

Yatterbox’s Head of Strategy Ben Carson said: “The SNP have been particularly effective campaigners on social media in recent years. With a message that’s really resonated, they’ve shown that social media can be a powerful place to share and build a groundswell of support.”

He added: “Over the past couple of years I would argue that Twitter has become the most important communication tool for MPs. Not only does it allow them to tweet party messaging or talk about local campaigns, but it’s a great way to talk to constituents, particularly the younger generation. It’s actually now more surprising that 79 MPs do not have a Twitter account.”

London mayor Boris Johnson, the newly elected MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, is the most followed politician in the UK with just over 1.26 million followers. He is followed closely by Prime Minister David Cameron, who has 1.05 million.

This compares with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who has 213,000 followers.

The SNP’s Alex Salmond becomes the most popular MP North of the border with 165,000 followers. The Green Party’s Caroline Lucas also has a huge 135k followers.

The social media monitoring tool also shows 174 (96 per cent) of newly elected MPs have Twitter accounts, with just eight of the new intake not having a presence on the platform.