Social media could help sway UK election

Posted on March 11, 2015


A recent poll revealed that the posts British people see on social news feeds could affect their vote in the upcoming general election.

According to a survey by Ipsos Mori, in conjunction with King’s College London, young voters in particular could be swayed by the contents of social media platforms. In the 18-24 group, around a third reported that reading a social post would be likely to influence their voting preference, which was second only to the scheduled televised debates.

Overall, Britons responded that social media would be the fourth biggest influence on how they chose to vote, which came in a position above posted leaflets. Taking the top spot in this list was the election debates once more, followed by newspapers and the parties’ election broadcasts.

The research also found that 71% of those polled believed social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, gave a space for people who would not usually take part in political discussions to join the debate.

Meanwhile, many voters reported that social media was helping to remove the barriers between the electorate and politicians. This viewpoint was most strongly agreed to by the young (60%), while over a third of voters aged 55 and over (39%) also saw its merits in this area.

It was also discovered that people are putting greater faith in social media, with almost 20% responding that they would trust political information found in news feeds over newspapers. Once again, this belief was greatest amongst the youngest voters, with 32% agreeing.

When he’s not editing web copy and news articles at work, Web Content Editor Tom sates his love for the written word by losing himself in a good book.
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