A ComRes survey of 101 Parliamentary candidates “who are likely to win or retain their seats” has found very heavy use of social media.
Around half the Parliamentary seats in the UK have not changed hands even once between different political parties in the last forty years, which helps explain why overall levels of take-up amongst MPs and candidates is usually on the range modest to quite good (though in fact often compare very well, for example, with large UK firms).
However, as this survey indicates, there are much higher than average levels of take-up amongst those were the election result is more up in the air or where a candidate, even if very confident of winning, is still seeking to establish themselves as an MP for the first time:
- 83% currently use Facebook
- 50% currently use Twitter
- 84% say they would use “Twitter, Facebook and blog” to communicate with constituents if elected in May
Less than a quarter (24%) however use an RSS reader which suggests that the vast majority read very few blogs regularly as otherwise an RSS reader is all but essential.
A useful aside for anyone involved in lobbying MPs or candidates: 67% would prefer to receive Parliamentary briefings electronically rather than in paper form.
You can view the full report here:29221555-Parliamentary-candidates-use-of-social-media
Note: the survey gives breakdowns by party but I have not used these because, as the foreword acknowledges, the sample sizes for some are very small.