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Online Trends

Published January 28th 2019

The Top Ten Most Influential MPs on Twitter

Who are the most influential MPs on Twitter? We use our Audiences tool to find out which Member of Parliament tops the list.

Being a Member of Parliament is no easy job. Tough decisions, long hours, and thousands of constituents. While the cheap drinks in the Strangers bar might lessen the blow a bit, no one could argue being an MP is a breeze.

For many MPs, Twitter acts like a constituency office where people can voice concerns directly to their representatives (or their representatives admin staff at least). It’s also a whole new platform for promoting their policies and opinions. You don’t need to call a press briefing when you’re followed on Twitter by a vast array of journalists.

That means it’s important for a politician to use Twitter to their advantage. But who’s done the best job?

We decided to update our list from Sep 2017 with new data to see who has managed to navigate the online waters of Brexit, leadership challenges, and parliamentary chaos the best.

Methodology

We used our Audiences tool to see which MP is the most influential on Twitter. We collated all accounts that had “MP” or “Member of Parliament” in their bio, and then excluded anyone who no longer holds their place in Parliament. We also used a few other terms to ensure the inclusion of people like Jeremy Corbyn who don’t say they’re an MP in their bio. It’s worth noting there are some MPs not on Twitter.

We then ranked them by our influencer score, which measures an account’s ability to generate engagement and amplify their message. This score only includes genuine engagement. This means the score won’t be influenced by any underhand spammy or bot tactics – not that we’d accuse any of our MPs of doing such a thing.

So, let’s get to it. The list is below, or you can jump straight to the full table with all the data.

10. Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner)

Influencer Score: 75
Followers: 106.7k
Party: Labour
Parliamentary Role: Shadow Secretary of State for Education

A newcomer to the list, Angela Rayner has been an MP since 2015, and was promoted to the shadow cabinet in 2016 by Jeremy Corbyn.

Rayner’s Twitter account has plenty of pictures of her out campaigning, messages of support for the party, and mentions of local issues. Tipped as future leader of the Labour Party, we can expect Rayner to move up the rankings next year.

9. Vince Cable (@vincecable)

Influencer Score: 76
Followers: 153.9k
Party: Liberal Democrats
Parliamentary Role: Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Another new entry into our top ten is Vince Cable, the leader of the Liberal Democrat party. He took over the Lib Dems just a few months before we did our original list, so it’s likely his newly prominent position has paid dividends since and pushed him into the top ten.

With the Liberal Democrats being the only party united behind a Brexit stance (remain), it’s no surprise his Twitter is pretty much 100% dedicated to the topic. Being such an important issue to many, this has also likely improved his influencer score.

8. Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott)

Influencer Score: 79
Followers: 236.5k
Party: Labour
Parliamentary Role: Shadow Home Secretary

Abbott was in our top ten previously, but has dropped from 4th to 8th (she also lost 1 point off of her influencer score). While she has the same influencer score as those in positions 7 – 5, she has the lowest follower count of the lot.

Abbott’s account is what you’d expect, politics messages, RTs of other Labour accounts, and comments on the news stories of the day.

7. Chuka Umunna (@ChukaUmunna)

Influencer Score: 79
Followers: 323.5k
Party: Labour
Parliamentary Role: MP

Another person from our previous rankings, Chuka Umunna comes in at 7, holding his position and just pipping Diane Abbott thanks to his follower count. It looks like his heavy involvement in campaigning for remain and a new referendum has served him well.

Umunna’s Twitter feed is pretty straightforward, lots of posts on Brexit, along with support for national and local issues.

6. Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas)

Influencer Score: 79
Followers: 343k
Party: Green
Parliamentary Role: Leader of the Green Party

Retaining her position, Green MP Caroline Lucas, is in 6th place. The only MP for her party and free from party whips enforcing a line, Lucas gets a lot of support for the causes she comes out for, especially so on green issues (she’s also been a staunch remainer).

A decent amount of work seems to go into Lucas’ Twitter with little reliance on retweets, and longer tweets that sound more personal than your average MPs’.

5. David Lammy (@DavidLammy)

Influencer Score: 79
Followers: 440.7k
Party: Labour
Parliamentary Role: MP

David Lammy is our highest newcomer, in at 5th place. Lammy isn’t new to politics (becoming an MP in 2000), but has come to the fore after his strong and continued response to the Grenfell Tower fire and his support for a people’s vote on Brexit.

Nothing too different about Lammy’s Twitter with commenting on news stories and Brexit, except he seems more willing to have direct debate with other users. He also gets in a few digs at politicians across the pond.

4. Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson)

Influencer Score: 79
Followers: 513.7k
Party: Conservative
Parliamentary Role: MP

Dropping one place from last year, we have Boris Johnson in 4th. Since our last list, Johnson has had a pretty busy time. He held the role of Foreign Secretary until July 2018, found himself in a number of controversies, and came out strongly for Brexit.

Nevertheless, despite the extra attention his influencer score has remained unchanged. His account is standard fare. Lots of political posts, especially about Brexit, along with sharing links to his articles in the Telegraph.

3. Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband)

Influencer Score: 81
Followers: 746.2k
Party: Labour
Parliamentary Role: MP

Winning our Best Improved MP award is Ed Miliband who has moved up two places and seen his influence score rise by three. Very impressive and likely in part to Ed leaning into a self-deprecating and sarcastic approach to Twitter.

Along with the jokes here and there, Ed still tweets the usual politician posts, including sharing articles, commenting on events, and promoting his own activities.

2. Theresa May (@theresa_may)

Influencer Score: 86
Followers: 752.2k
Party: Conservative
Parliamentary Role: Prime Minister

In at 2nd is the UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May. She’s not having a good time of it as of late having to try and get support for a Brexit deal no one likes, with remainers and leavers are on the attack from all sides.

As she’s tried to battle through Brexit (plus a leadership challenge and no confidence vote) her influence score has jumped by two, just a single point off this list’s leader. On Twitter, she sticks to keeping things simple (and a little drab). When you’re PM it can be a bit of risk to add on some quirk and personality to your tweets.

1. Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn)

Influencer Score: 87
Followers: 1.9m
Party: Labour
Parliamentary Role: Leader of the Opposition

And here we are. Chant-inspirer, grime-supported, allotment-dweller Jeremy Corbyn keeps the top spot. With just over 1.9 million followers, his influencer score of 87 should come as no surprise to anyone.

Corbyn still has his sights set on becoming the next Prime Minister, especially as Theresa May attempts to get her Brexit deal through parliament. We can be sure Corbyn will be making full use of Twitter to garner support and get himself into Number 10.

He’s not the Prime Minister (yet), but he’s still the Prime Minister of Twitter.

The Most Influential MPs on Twitter

Rank Rank Change Member of Parliament Party Influence Score Score Change
1 = Jeremy Corbyn Labour 87 ▲1
2 = Theresa May Conservative 86 ▲2
3 ▲2 Ed Miliband Labour 81 ▲3
4 ▼1 Boris Johnson Conservative 81 =
5 New David Lammy Labour 79 N/A
6 = Caroline Lucas Green 79 ▲1
7 = Chuka Umunna Labour 79 ▲1
8 ▼4 Diane Abbott Labour 79 ▼1
9 New Vince Cable Liberal Democrat 76 N/A
10 New Angela Raynor Labour 75 N/A

What have we found out?

Labour took six of the places, with the Lib Dems and the Greens taking another one each. The Conservatives were not very well represented, especially considering they’re currently in charge. Social media is becoming increasingly important in elections, and could be cause for concern for the Tories with an election that may come any time now.

With Labour currently ahead in the polls – just – this list sees Labour in a strong position on social. But how that will translate into actual results we can’t say.

If you want to take a deeper look at politicians and their social media influence, you can use our Audiences tool. There’s a lot of hidden insight to be uncovered that might come in handy if another election is soon heading our way.

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From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.