Google Search tips Cameron to win election - and Nigel Farage's Ukip will beat Labour and the Liberal Democrats
- Google News Labs team worked with University of Sheffield lecturer Dr Alasdair Rae to create the election maps
- They looked at Google search data over the past 12 months to track which party leaders were searched for the most
- Google's Knowledge graph technology was then used to aggregated this across 5,000 towns and cities in the UK
- Researchers then converted this into the number of seats the parties could win in the General Election - with Conservatives on 237, UKIP on 221 and Labour in third place with 125
As the UK votes in today's General Election, Google has published a map that plots which political parties and their respective leaders are dominating internet searches across the country.
Data experts analysed Google search data from the past 12 months to track which party leaders were searched for the most nationwide, before aggregating this information across 5,000 towns and cities in the UK.
The results were converted into seats in the House of Commons and suggest that David Cameron will win the majority, with Nigel Farage in second place and Ed Miliband in third.
Roll your mouse over the map - or touch a constituency if viewing on mobile device - to see most-searched for leader, current MP and party
The leaders of the respective parties are shown on the left-hand side of the map. Their corresponding colours are plotted on the map of the UK.
If viewing the map on a desktop, hover the mouse over a region to reveal the name of the constituency, the most-searched for leader, the name of the current MP and their party.
IF GOOGLE SEARCHES EQUATED TO SEATS IN THE COMMONS
The maps do not reveal in which context the party leaders were searched for, and searches don't automatically equate to votes.
However, if they did Google predicts:
David Cameron - 237 seats
Nigel Farage - 221
Ed Miliband - 125
Nicola Sturgeon - 43
Nick Clegg - 17
Natalie Bennett - 3
Leanne Wood - 1
Others - 3
If viewing on a mobile, touch the constituency to see the same information and pinch to zoom in.
The map was created by the Google News Labs team with Dr Alasdair Rae, a senior lecturer in urban studies and planning at the University of Sheffield.
They used Google search data over the past 12 months and used Google's Knowledge graph technology to look for the most-searched party leader in more than 5,000 towns and cities.
This information was aggregated to establish which leader was most-searched in each location.
The maps do not reveal in which context the party leaders were searched for, and searches do not automatically equate to votes for that particular party.
Google used it as a guide to create the maps.
For example, the south east is predominantly purple, suggesting the region search the most for Nigel Farage, but that doesn't mean people in that region will necessarily vote for UKIP.
The Google maps also reveal Labour has a potential stronghold across London, and in particular the north east.
Tiverton and Honiton's preference for Nick Clegg is at odds with the Conservatives and Ukip regions surrounding it in the south west.
However, if these search results do equate to votes, Google predicts David Cameron will win 237 seats.
Nigel Farage will obtain 221, Ed Miliband will win 125, Nicola Sturgeon 43, Nick Clegg will get 17, Natalie Bennett will receive three and Leanne Wood will earn a solitary seat.
FACEBOOK AND PARTY LEADERS
Looking specifically at the party leaders’ seats, data from Facebook recently revealed that:
Health came up top in Witney, David Cameron’s seat, while Europe was the most-discussed issue in Doncaster North, Ed Miliband’s seat.
Europe was also the most-discussed topic in South Thanet and Rochester & Strood, Nigel Farage and Mark Reckless’ respective seats.
The economy came top in Sheffield Hallam, Nick Clegg’s seat.
The remaining three seats are assigned to 'Others'.
Unsurprisingly the majority of Scottish constituencies are yellow, searching for Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish National Party.
Separate research from advertising tech firm Captify found, conversely, that Ed Milliband is the most searched for party leader with 31 per cent over the past seven days, however.
Nigel Farage comes in second place again, though, with 22 per cent of searches.
However, the Conservative party is the most-searched for political party on 46 per cent, followed by Labour on 32 per cent, UKIP on 12 per cent, Lib Dems on 8 per cent and Green with 2 per cent.
Over the past week, the economy was searched alongside the Lib Dems more times than any other party, immigration and searches for UKIP went hand-in-hand, and healthcare was the most searched for political issue.
Yesterday, Facebook launched its 'I'm a voter' button to encourage people to visit the polling station.
The company said: ‘Voters logging on to Facebook this Thursday will see a ‘megaphone’ message at the top of their Facebook News Feed, and will be able to click to share that they are voting with their friends.
'By clicking the button people can highlight their status as a voter to their Facebook friends, without specifying who they voted for.’
Separate research from advertising tech firm Captify found, conversely , that Ed Milliband is the most searched for party leader with 31 per cent during the past seven days. Nigel Farage comes in second place again, though, with 22 per cent of searches (pictured)
However, the Conservative party is the most-searched for political party on 46 per cent, followed by Labour on 32 per cent, UKIP on 12 per cent, Lib Dems on 8 per cent and Green with 2 per cent (pictured)
A study published in Nature in 2012 showed that conversation on Facebook ahead of an election can increase voter turnout, with 300,000 voters turning out to the polls in America in 2010, having seen Facebook posts from their friends.
It’s hoped the button will have the same effect on UK voters on 7 May.
‘Politics is huge on Facebook, and with over 52 million interactions related to the General Election already this year, we fully expect it to be the most discussed topic in the UK in 2015, said Elizabeth Linder, Facebook’s politics and government specialist for Europe, the Middle East and Africa
Over the past week, the economy was searched alongside the Lib Dems more times than any other party, immigration and searches for UKIP went hand-in-hand (pictured), and healthcare was the most searched for political issue
And the economy is the most mentioned election-related topic, leapfrogging health, which echoes YouGov’s most recent issues poll.
This poll found that voters think the economy, immigration and health are the biggest issues facing the UK.
In the five months between 1 January and 1 May, there were more than 4.5 million Economy-related interactions from 1.4 million people and the Economy was the most discussed topic in 350 of the 651 constituencies in the UK.
Interactions comprise likes, shares and comments.
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