Report

The EU elections on Twitter

22 May 2014
Description

Based on an analysis of more than 1.2 million tweets in English, French and German, this report finds mixed sentiment toward the European Union and a general lack of passion about the candidates seeking the European Commission presidency.

Summary

A new Pew Research Center analysis of the conversation on Twitter leading up to the European Parliament elections suggests mixed sentiment toward the European Union (EU) and a general lack of passion about the candidates seeking the European Commission presidency.

In the analysis of more than 1.2 million tweets in English, French and German collected between May 1-14, a decidedly mixed view about the EU emerged. In English, 31% of the  assertions on Twitter about the EU were positive toward the EU (which included the EU directly, its institutions and Europe), compared with 39% that were negative and 30% that were neutral. The Twitter conversation in French broke down the same basic way—33% positive, 39% negative and 28% neutral. And while the German language conversation about the EU on Twitter was much more positive (39%) than negative (5%), these views were embedded in a low intensity conversation that represented a mere fraction of the Twitter activity in French and English.

The positive view toward the EU was reflected in a tweet from Finnish minister Alexander Stubb who wrote: “We need the EU for four simple reasons: peace, prosperity, security and stability. We can do more together, than alone.”  The opposite view was voiced in a tweet from @MetManPH noting that, “It’s not racist to believe that membership of the EU is not in Britain’s best interests.”

Other elements of the Twitter discussion in the run-up to the May 22-25 balloting for a 751-seat pan-European Parliament reinforce the notion that the 28-nation organization does not provoke particularly strong interest or approval in this corner of the social networking world.

Publication Details
Published year only: 
2014
1
Share
Share
Subject Areas
Geographic Coverage
Advertisement