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The last 24 hours of the 2011 Irish General Election campaign according to Twitter #ge11 [Infographic]

The last 24 hours of the 2011 Irish General Election campaign according to Twitter #ge11 [Infographic]

Last week we used the power of Google Search to predict the outcome of the 2011 Irish General Election. Now, on the eve of the election, we turn to Twitter, not to predict results, but to provide some insightful analysis on political party and political party leader performances during the last official twenty-four hours of their campaign.

Our analysis depicted below was conducted over the twenty-four hour period prior to the broadcast moratorium on election coverage, which came into force at midnight last night. We looked at volumes of specific political party leader mentions in tweets, party leader sentiment in tweets, and political party influence.

#ge11 - The last 24 hours on Twitter

#ge11 - The last 24 hours on Twitter

Solely in relation to the five main Irish political party leaders, Enda Kenny, leader of Fine Gael, was tweeted most, with 56% of all political leader mentions, while John Gormley, leader of the Green Party, was tweeted least and only accounted for 1.5% of tweets.

Regarding political leader sentiment on Twitter, we used a free service known as Tweet Sentiments, which attempts to gauge whether tweets on a certain topic or person are negative or positive in nature. Enda Kenny once again proved most loved Irish political figure with 66% of tweets mentioning him being positive in nature. Unfortunately for John Gormley, he comes in last for a second time with only 45% tweets concerning him being positive.

Moving to political parties themselves, we used another free service known as Klout to record the true reach and influence that each parties official Twitter accounts have. The Labour Party is the most influential with a klout score of 65 out of a possible 100, whereas Sinn Féin has the least klout with a score of 59.

While we may not be able to predict the election using Twitter just yet, the general trends witnessed here do resemble that of the latest Red C poll, particularly in relation to political leader mention statistics. Any discrepancies may be attributed to the broad demographic differences between Twitter users and the voting electorate.

Now all you have to do is make sure you vote tomorrow.

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Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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