Social media discourse and voting decisions influence: sentiment analysis in tweets during an electoral period

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Abstract

In a time where social media is fundamental for any political campaign and to share a message with an electoral audience, this study searches for a conclusion of the actual persuasion capacity of social media in the electors when they need to decide whom to vote for as their next government. For this, it compares the sentiment that Social Media users demonstrated during an electoral period with the actual results of those elections. For this analysis, it was used, as a case study, tweets mentioning the two major English parties, Conservative and Labor, their respective candidates for the position of prime minister, and terms that identified their political campaign during the electoral period of the General Elections of the United Kingdom that occurred on December 12, 2019. Data were collected using R. The treatment and analysis were done with R and RapidMiner. Results show that tweets’ sentiment is not a reliable election results predictor. Additionally, results also show that it is impossible to state that social media impacts voting decisions. At least not from the polarity of the sentiment of opinions on social media.
Original languageEnglish
Article number46
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Network Analysis and Mining
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Elections
  • Politics
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Social media

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