Monday, September 6, 2010

Scotland's Top Political Tweeters

In January this year I put together a post containing a list of the top Scottish political tweeters. 

Thanks to Total Politics' Blog awards, lists are back in vogue, and so I thought that it would be a good time to revisit the issue. It's been a busy 9 months in politics, and I wanted to see how usage and take up of Twitter had changed over this time, just ahead of the return of the Holyrood and Westminster parliaments after their summer break. 

There are a couple of notable changes in the last 9 months. 

There has been significant growth in the number of Twitter followers engaged with Scottish political figures since the beginning of 2010. The Top 10 in January had a total of around 12 thousand followers, while the updated list has over 24 thousand, a significant increase. 

Secondly, the top tweeters from the SNP  list and the second placed tweeter from the Tories have dropped out this particular race. Jeff Breslin (aka SNP Tactical Voting)  is no longer eligible as he's moved on to pastures new, while the Conservative's former Westminster candidate Alberto Costa's Twitter account has been discontinued. In there place there have been a number of new entries, in particular from MPs who stood for election esrlier this year. 

The rankings below are based on the number of followers on the afternoon of Saturday 4th September 2010. I've considered accounts which have a broadly political outlook, and are based in, or mostly about, Scotland. The number in brackets are the number of followers each user has at the time I checked. Those which didn't make the list last time round are marked as (NEW). I've compiled each party list on the basis of what I understand the general politics of each account to be.

All the twits below (and many, many more) feature in my Scottish Politics list which you can find on my Twitter page.

I've now added Kristofer Keane to the Greens' list and Lawrence Mills to the Labour list. Sorry for the omissions.

1. SNP Official 1233 (456)
2. Angus Robertson MP 661 (NEW)
3. Osama Saeed 521 (296) 
4. Subrosa 493 (325)  ++SEE COMMENTS BELOW+++
5. Holyrood Patter 449 (343)

Scottish Labour
1.Tom Harris MP 5226 (2848)
2. Douglas Alexander MP 4700 (NEW)
Eric Joyce MP 2057 (1156)
4. Lawrence Mills 1706 (NEW) +++UPDATED+++
Scottish Labour 1514 (859)
6. Jim Murphy MP 1433 (NEW) 

Scottish Liberal Democrats
1. Jo Swinson MP 4039 (2672)
2. Charles Kennedy MP 2776 (NEW) 
3. Danny Alexander MP 2406 (NEW)
Andy Reeves 1494 (1016)
Caron Lindsay 1301 (802)

Scottish Conservatives
1. David Mundell MP 978 (622)
2. Iain McGill 893 (NEW) 
3. David McLetchie MSP 253 (NEW) 
4. Iain Gibson 226 (NEW)
Ross Thomson 163 (114)

Scottish Greens
1. Patrick Harvie MSP 1091 (708)
2. James McKenzie 909 (526)
3. Kate Joester 744 (455)
4. Kristofer Keane 581 (NEW) +++UPDATED+++
5. Chas Booth 544 (359) 
6. Cowrin 491 (NEW)

Scottish Media
1. HolyroodDaily 1249 (345)
2. Newsnight Scotland 941 (NEW) 
3. Joan McAlpine 876 (401)
Severin Carrell 699 (283)
5. Torquil Crichton 680 (338)

Which makes the final Top Ten list:

1.     Tom Harris MP                      5226    (2848)
2.      Douglas Alexander MP           4700    (NEW)
3.      Jo Swinson MP                    4039    (2672)
4.     Charles Kennedy MP              2776    (NEW) 
5.      Danny Alexander MP             2406    (NEW)
6.      Eric Joyce MP                      2057    (1156)
7.      Scottish Labour                    1514    (859)
8.      Andy Reeves                        1494    (1016)
9.      Jim Murphy MP                      1433    (NEW) 
10.   Caron Lindsay                       1301    (802)


(I may have missed someone out. I’m sorry if I have, so if you leave me a comment, send me a tweet or DM I’ll happily update the list.)


  1. A shade under 10,000 tweets between Messrs Harris and Alexander suggests they've too much time on their hands...Seriously 9926 tweets...

  2. I'd prefer to be listed under Scottish Independence because I'm not a member of the SNP but it's not a matter of life or death. In fact, I'm not a member of any political party so does that make me an Independent? ;)