With the Conservative manifesto launch taking place yesterday, we now have manifestos from all three main political parties. But how have they been received on social media?
In a policy shift which pundits have taken to calling ‘Mayism’, the Conservatives have continued to move into traditional Labour territory, advocating an end to uncontrolled free markets and ‘’individualism’’ that was typical of Margaret Thatcher. Meanwhile, the popularity of individual Labour proposals are yet to translate into a significant increase in poll position, seemingly a reflection of lack of confidence in Corbyn’s leadership. The Lib-Dems have made opposing Brexit the centrepiece of their manifesto, hoping to capitalise on a weak opposition and uncertainty over Labour’s Brexit stance.
Mentions of the Conservative manifesto peaked at around 1.7 million in the build up to its release. The decision to scrap free school lunches was met with incredulity by many, with former MP David Lammy branding the Conservatives the ‘lunch snatchers’. Others were more positive however, with one Twitter user calling it a ‘’common sense’’ set of pledges.
With social media mentions reaching a peak of nearly 2.5 million, the Labour party manifesto overshadowed both the Conservatives and Lib-Dems when it was leaked the week previously. When it came to the official launch, mentions peaked at around 1.2 million. While much of the original social media chatter concerned the leak as opposed to the policies, this is an impressive level of tractionfor a manifesto which had essentially already been launched.
The Lib-Dems also launched their manifesto last week, gathering around 1.1 million mentions on social media. The stand out policy here is their commitment to a second referendum on the Brexit deal, something which Andrew Neal said showed they had ‘’misread the nation’’.