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Social Media’s Reaction to Budget 2017 in Six Charts Politics

By Gemma Joyce on November 22nd 2017

“Wheeeyyy”, “boooo”… No, it’s not a football match. It’s Budget 2017.

Yes, in the words of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it’s the thing with “the long economic-y words in it.”

A whirlwind of a budget that touched on large scale economic plans as well as smaller scale changes that will affect people’s lives quicker, sprinkled with dad jokes and jeering from politicians, is now being picked apart by commentators both on the TV and social media.

The Brandwatch React team monitored conversation surrounding #Budget2017 on Twitter throughout the day and minute-by-minute to see how social media reacted. (Because we, like Philip Hammond, know how to have a good time).

Budget 2017: Top-line stats

During the Budget 2017 announcement:

  • There were over 85,000 tweets about #Budget2017
  • At the most discussed point there were 1,561 mentions in a single minute
  • 61% of gender-categorized mentions were from male authors, 39% from female

Chart shows how men and women tweeted about Budget 2017, shows of gender-categorized mentions 39% were women, 61% were men.

The highlights, the low points and biggest topics

There were a whopping number of tweets and, as you can see below, it was a real roller-coaster ride.

Chart shows mentions volumes minute-by-minute during budget 2017. The peak is at 1:15 during a discussion of Personal Allowance and National Living Wage

Breaking that down by gender, there was no massive difference in spike patterns or apparent priorities – the NHS was a huge topic in both conversations.A chart shows volumes of tweets from male and female authors throughout Budget 2017. Male authors massively out-tweet women, with female tweets never exceeding male tweets in volume.

While mention volume can tell you a lot about the topics that were most discussed (we’ll get to that later), sentiment can give you an idea of the public mood as the Budget announcements went ahead.

Awkwardly, they remained steadily negative throughout.

High points included discussion about the National Living Wage and Stamp Duty, but net sentiment rarely peaked above neutral (represented as 0 in this chart):

A chart shows sentiment of tweets during Budget 2017. Two peaks in positive sentiment surround National Living Wage rising and Stamp Duty being abolished

So what were people actually talking about? We gave you a bit of a hint when we said that the NHS was dominant in both male and female conversations.

Also high on people’s Twitter-priorities list were the National Living Wage, stamp duty, public services, tax avoidance, the EU and more. Remember that these mentions were from people tweeting about the Budget as it happened, so you can expect that this conversation changes as the day goes on and analysis continues.


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We’re disappointed but it’s also funny…

The Budget always presents different reactions depending on the listeners’ circumstances.

Luckily, we now have the ability to monitor conversation by emoji so the most dominant emotional reactions are easier to measure.

Here, we looked at specific and groups of emojis used throughout Budget 2017. (E.g. poop emoji represents just mentions of poop emoji, smiley emoji represents a larger group of smiley emojis, eye roll represents eye roll and other disappointed looking emoji faces).

So, what was the biggest emotional response to Budget 2017?

Yep, it was the eye roll. Followed by laughter at Philip Hammond’s questionable humor.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? Email react@brandwatch.com for more information


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Gemma Joyce

@GLJoyce

Gemma is the social data journalist heading up Brandwatch React. As well as being first with the current affairs data, Gemma loves pizza, politics, and long reads. Her work has been featured in publications like Financial Times, Wired, Business Insider, and PR Week