Poll Position: our data visualisation of real-time general election conversation on Twitter

Written by Sean Fleming

The Enigma team have created Poll Position - a real-time representation of how the UK general election is impacting conversation on Twitter. This combination of algorithm, design, and insight plays to just some of the strengths within the Enigma team.

We’re no strangers to turning complex propositions into accessible, shareable, and valuable content. Data visualisation is particularly effective at making otherwise dry and impenetrable topics easy to understand.

But the thing about data visualisations, of course, is they’re only useful if there’s a wealth of data to draw from. With that in mind, when the general election was called, we started tracking Twitter conversations on all things political in the UK.

Within just a few days we had indexed almost 10 million Tweets.

We’ve created Poll Position, which is tracking – right now, in real-time ... see it for yourself  – Twitter and indexing every Tweet that matches a comprehensive set of search criteria.

Furthermore, it’s applying sentiment analysis to indicate where those Tweets are positive, neutral, or negative.

The result is a dynamic, constantly-updating snapshot of which party is being Tweeted about the most. You can see them jockeying for position as the Twitter conversations wax and wane, along with the tone of those conversations.

Between now and 8 June we’ll be watching the interplay between Twitter conversations and real-world events. We’ll analyse what the trends mean - and what they don’t mean. There’ll also be insight into the differences in people’s behaviour, opinions, and attitudes on- and off line.

Once the votes have been cast and the results are in, we’ll reprise some of the talking points to see whether the final outcome had been predicted by Twitter, and what we might be able to learn from any discrepancies.

In the meantime, enjoy Poll Position.

If you have any questions about it, or about our data visualisation work more generally, please get in touch.

'Polling Station' image by secretlondon123 (originally posted to Flickr as Polling station) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


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