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Study Analyses Post-US Election Twitter Response from UK Legislators

The Pew Research Center conducted research looking at how legislators from the UK, Canada and Australia reacted on Twitter towards President-Elect Biden before and after the US Election

Published on January 14, 2021

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A new study has been examining the Twitter posts of legislatiors in the UK, Canada and Australia both before and after the election of Joe Biden to the office of US President, in order to understand how the new administration could affect bilateral trade and ties.

The research, conducted by the Pew Research Centre, analysed over 200,000 tweets from over 1300 national-level officials in the parliaments of the UK, Canada and Australia. The first batch of tweets was taken from between August 28 and September 30, 2020, prior to the US Election, while the second batch was taken from November 7 to November 14. The study excluded tweets sent by heads of government.

Researchers found that the level of negative tweets towards Donald Trump were similar before and after the election. Before, 73% of UK, Canadian and Australian legislators had posted at least one negative tweet, with 74% afterwards. 9% had posted at least one positive comment before the election, with only 3% posting at least one positive tweet afterwards.

Researchers also found that before the election, 80% of UK, Canadian and Australian legislators had submitted a neutral tweet about Joe Biden, whereas after the election, with only 32% having posted positive. That number changed dramatically after the vote, when post-election, 86% of legislators posting at least one positive tweet, and only 52% posting somethuing neutral.

The study looks in detail at how legislators from the three countries reacted to the election, including the type of topics which were being raised, and how these changed before and after the November vote. The research also examines how Labour and Conservative party MPs in the UK reacted to the candidates.

The study provides some interesting insights into how countries including the UK could be altering their messages in light of the election of Joe Biden to the Presidency, and how Twitter is increasingly becoming a powerful tool in global political dialogues.

To read the full report, go to www.pewresearch.org/global/2021/01/13/legislators-in-uk-canada-and-australia-express-post-election-enthusiasm-for-biden-administration-on-twitter/

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