Who’s winning the digital political war?

Google Food

An analysis of how the parties are doing in terms of their Google Searches. How are they performing?

'Google Trends’ allows users to check Google search history of the world for the last eleven years. It allows us to compare particular searches over time, as well as against other searches.

Using this tool, I have looked at how five political paries (Labour. Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the SNP) and leaders have faired in recent years.

British political parties

The party searched the most in one particular month is UKIP. The party peaked in terms of searches back in May last year when it won the European elections in Britain. For every 100 searches for UKIP, there were 16 searches for Labour and 5 for the Conservatives. After that the party fell.

In April, the month before this week’s election, UKIP were the most searched party in Britain. For every 58 UKIP searches there were 37 Labour searches, 16 Conservative searches, 18 Liberal Democrat searches and 15 SNP searches.

The Liberal Democrats peaked, in terms of searches in April five years ago, around the time of ‘Cleggmania’. For every 58 Lib Dem searches, there were 39 Labour searches and 29 for the Conservatives.

In terms of searches for this year's general election, UKIP and Labour are leading the way.

See the searches here.

Scotland

The SNP are one of the biggest stories of the election. They could go from six seats to upwards of forty or fifty. How have they performed in terms of searches?

Unsurprisingly, out of the five parties, in Scotland they were the most searched by far at the time of the referendum (97 SNP searches compared to Labour’s 22 in September last year).

This April they remain ahead: for every 58 SNP searches, there were 35 UKIP, 27 Labour and 11 Conservative searches in Scotland. The partial figures for May put them at their peak, but as we are only five days in this is less relevant.

See the full Scotland results here.

Milifandom and the Surge of Sturgeon?

The most searches for David Cameron took place in May 2010, the year he became Prime Minister. Since then his searches have been relatively low. As for Ed Miliband his highest - until recently was in September 2010 - the month he was elected Labour leader. But in recent months he has been making online progress, most likely fueled by the fact he could be the next Prime Minister, his recent interviews, his rising approval ratings, as well as perhaps the rise of the Milifandom. In April of this year Miliband was the most searched leader, apart from one: Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader. For every 78 searches for her, there were 43 for Miliband and 32 for Cameron.

SEE ALSO: Russell Brand: Vote for Miliband and Labour

However, looking at the May figures (partial data) it is Miliband who has reached his peak (if partial figures pan out for the month) and is beating everyone else. For every 100 searches for the Labour leader there have been just 30 for the Prime Minister, 82 for Nicola Sturgeon and just 29 for Nigel Farage. There were also 15 for Nick Clegg.

‘Google Trends’ is no election predictor, but it gives us an insight into how people in the UK are searching and thinking, so is an interesting way at looking at the election.

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