University of Bath

Social Media Analysis of the Scottish Labour Party Election Campaign 2017

A project examining the extent to which there has been a revival of the Scottish Labour Party, drawing on data from social media.

The aim of this project is to assess the extent to which there has been a revival of the Scottish Labour Party (SLP), in terms of its activism, influence and reach, and the extent to which this accounts for its success in winning back Westminster seats at the last election. The project also assesses the SLP campaign messages and policies to understand how the identity of the SLP was constructed and presented to potential voters, and compares these with the messages and policies of the UK Labour Party. Our research asks how far the SLP, and its members and candidates, used Jeremy Corbyn in their social media campaigns and used UK Labour campaign themes, compared with using distinctly Scottish themes and Scottish Labour Party figures. We assess to what extent the SLP was able to create and drive new arguments and frames in the campaign (and if so, what were these based on), and to what extent they were reactive to the campaigns of the SNP and Scottish Conservatives.

Alongside interviews with leading SLP figures and party activists, the project collects and analyses social media data from Twitter, Facebook (public pages), and Instagram for specified individual and party political accounts over the period of the 2017 general election campaign. We are particularly interested in key nodal figures/accounts in the social media campaigns of the SLP and its supporters, and whether or not the SLP and its activists engaged with or retweeted English "alt left" sources, such as The Canary, Skwawkbox, Another Angry Voice, or Novara Media. We are also assessing geographical or other differences in the data that might relate to social class or other identities in different parts of Scotland.

Project team


  • IPR Report: Report on the social media analysis will be published in December 2017.
  • Additional proposals/activities: application to the ERSC Open Call is under development.