The Top Ten Most Influential MPs on Twitter

Being a Member of Parliament is no easy job. Tough decisions, long hours, and millions 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?

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.

Twitter’s Most Influential MPs

10. Tim Farron (@timfarron)

Party: Liberal Democrats
Parliamentary Role: Backbencher
Constituency: Westmorland and Lonsdale

The famed pro-milk candidate and ex-Leader of the Liberal Democrats starts us off. Tim Farron with his 279k followers has racked up an influencer score of 73.

Farron’s Twitter use is pretty standard with a healthy amount of tweets and a generous use of likes. Having said that, he’s chosen a cover photo where everyone looks like they’re deciding what to eat at a restaurant they hate. Nice choice, Tim.

9. Harriet Harman (@HarrietHarman)

Party: Labour
Parliamentary Role: Backbencher
Constituency: Camberwell and Peckham

HRH comes in at number nine (her full name is Harriet Ruth Harman). 139k people follow her on Twitter currently, while our Audiences tool gives her an influencer score of 74.

It’s no shock Harman is so influential having held a range of positions, from Leader of the Opposition to Minister for Women and Equality. She’s also the longest serving female MP earning her the honorary title of Mother of the House of Commons. She’s also got a bunch of driving convictions, which certainly makes her more influential on police activity.

8. Tom Watson (@tom_watson)

Party: Labour
Parliamentary Role: Shadow Culture Secretary
Constituency: West Bromwich East

In at number eight is Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. He’s managed to pull together 238k followers and ended up with an influencer score of 74.

Watson is a pretty prolific Twitter user with one the highest number of tweets on the list (beaten only by Tim Farron). He’s also been using the platform since 2008, so he knows what he’s doing. He also tweets himself fawning over dogs.

7. Chuka Umunna (@ChukaUmunna)

Party: Labour
Parliamentary Role: Backbencher
Constituency: Streatham

Chuka ‘Babyface’ Umunna takes the seventh spot. With the backing of 226k followers, Umunna has made great use of them and got himself an influencer score of 78.

His Twitter use is pretty standard for a politician, but it’s likely high profile events have pushed up his influence. After an aborted leadership run and his rebel EU bill that got three frontbenchers fired, he’s become one of the most recognisable politicians in the UK. Having said that, he’s never liked a single tweet. Share the love, Chuka.

 

6. Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas)

Party: Green
Parliamentary Role: Backbencher
Constituency: Brighton Pavilion

The one and only MP from a small party on the list, we have Caroline Lucas at number six. Being up against the might of today’s two-party politics, she’s got an impressive influencer score of 78. She’s also racked up over 261k followers, a decent amount for this lot.

When it comes to Twitter there’s no big shocks, although she does follow more accounts than most others. Just 189 likes for her though, some of them her own tweets. Now that’s engagement.

5. Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband)

Party: Labour
Parliamentary Role: Backbencher
Constituency: Doncaster North

Tough Ed back in the spotlight! The ex-Leader of the Labour Party comes in at fifth, with 685k followers Miliband has managed an influencer score of 78.

Ed’s had a bit of a turnaround since he lost the election, choosing to send out some pretty sassy tweets over the last year or so. It’s definitely gained him some fans since the bacon sandwich days. Another weird cover photo though, with Ed looking like he’s been superimposed on the image.

4. Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott)

Party: Labour
Parliamentary Role: Shadow Home Secretary
Constituency: Hackney North and Stoke Newington

Past half way, Diane Abbott takes the second spot with an influencer score of 80. With that she’s managed to attract over 180k followers to her account.

Being Shadow Home Sec and one of the main players in the last election, it makes sense she’d be around this place on the list. Abbott has borne the brunt of MP abuse on Twitter, but she’s remained steadfast. If we look at the accounts she influences, they’re predominantly pro-Labour meaning her message is breaking through the hate.

 

3. Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson)

Party: Conservatives
Parliamentary Role: Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Constituency: Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

The man, the myth, the buffoon. Straight out of a Wodehouse novel, it’s a surprise Boris is even on Twitter at all. With one of the largest following of the lot at 358k, his influencer score is 81.

Despite being the third most influential, his account mostly consists of him standing in other countries with his sleeves rolled up. He also only follows 118 people – pretty much all political accounts – and has liked just four, very dull tweets.

 

2. Theresa May (@theresa_may)

Party: Conservative
Parliamentary Role: Prime Minister
Constituency: Miadenhead

Well, the actual Prime Minister has failed to reach the top spot. Nevertheless, she has a big following with over 385k people looking out for her tweets. That mixed with her position as leader of the UK has given her an influencer score of 84.

Falling just shy of first place may come down to the fact she’s only tweeted 300 times in all. Clearly May and her team prefer a light touch to social media. Nevertheless, she still has a lot of influence to wield if she chooses to do so.

 

1. Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn)

Party: Labour
Parliamentary Role: Leader of the Opposition
Constituency: Islington North

And here we are. Chant-inspirer, Grime-supported, allotment-dweller Jeremy Corbyn takes the top spot. With just shy of 1.5 million followers, his influencer score of 86 should come as no surprise to anyone.

Along with being the Labour Party’s leader, the election saw huge crowds singing his name and messages of support from the likes of Danny De Vito, spread across social media. When he tweets, people pay attention.

He might not be the Prime Minister (officially), but he’s definitely the Prime Minister of Twitter.

What have we found out?

Labour took six of the places, with the Lib Dems and the Greens taking another two. The Conservatives were not very well represented, especially considering they’re currently in charge. Social media is becoming increasingly important in elections, and this could be an area that might hurt the Tories further down the line.

With Labour currently ahead in the polls – just – this list seems to tally more with the public mood. Could it be a sign the Tories will be in trouble at the next election? Obviously we cannot say for sure, but places like Twitter are a battleground just as much as much as Parliament and local constituencies.

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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