Tom Watson is Labour’s top influencer on twitter

Tory Radio have produced a new index of Tory Twitter influence based on Edelman's tweet level service. Left Foot Forward produces a similar Labour list.

As the debate over Tweetminster’s report continues, Tory Radio have produced a new index of Tory Twitter influence based on Edelman’s tweet level service.

The index showed that Iain Dale and Tory Bear had more influence on twitter despite having fewer followers than Boris Johnson or the Conservative Party itself.

Left Foot Forward has carried out the same analysis from Iain Dale’s list of the top 20 Labour tweeters. As with Tory Radio list, the brackets outline where they are positioned in Iain’s list.

Tom Watson, an MP well respected in techy circles, tops the list with bloggers Ellie Gellard and Cath Elliott the two highest climbers. Both Tom Watson and Sarah Brown have more influence than any Tory tweeters.


Top Labour Tweeters by Tweet Level

1. (4) Tom Watson – 69
2. (1) Sarah Brown – 67
=3. (19) Ellie Gellard – 65
=3. (3) John Prescott – 65
5. (9) Kerry McCarthy – 64
6. (2) Alastair Campbell – 63
7. (12) LabourList – 59
8. (15) Tom Harris – 55
9. (14) The Fabians – 54
=10. (7) Lord Drayson – 52
=10. (18) Cath Elliott – 52
12. (8) Ed Balls – 51
13. (16) Stuart Bruce – 49
14. (20) Sion Simon – 48
=15. (10) Sadiq Khan – 47
=15. (17) Kevin Maguire – 47
17. (5) David Miliband – 45
18. (6) Ed Miliband – 44
19. (11) David Lammy – 40
20. (13) Ben Bradshaw – 36

Earlier today at my suggestion, Mark Thompson produced a list of the Top 20 Lib Dem twitterers. Over to Mark again for a list of the most influential Lib Dem tweeters.

Hat-tip: Samuel Coates

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36 Responses to “Tom Watson is Labour’s top influencer on twitter”

  1. Jonny Bentwood

    top tory and labour tweeters by @toryradio & @leftfootfwd & < using

  2. Labour topping poll of top 20 political tweeters? – Tory Radio

    […] my earlier list today of top Tory tweeters, Left foot forward have helpfully done the same for Labour tweeters (again using Edelmans tweet level service) which […]

  3. Ellie Gellard

    If this from @leftfootfwd is correct, then I may need to have a lie down

  4. Mark

    How do you define influence? The thing that strikes me with Twitter and politics is that you have people following their friends / prejudices. Instead of influencing people thanks to counter-intuitive ideas, it’s all about Tories following Tories and Labour following Labour. A bit inward-looking and self-referential, no?

  5. Hatter

    I do not understand how Ellie Gellard is up there at join 3rd – as nice and as eloquent of a girl as she is, she is nothing more than a random person with an opinion on politics.

    In my personal experience, she uses her Twitter account as a spout for statements, and rarely engages with anyone who want to debate or question what gets spouted.

  6. Will Straw

    Will Straw

    Don’t shoot the messenger. All the methodological discussions are here:

    Ellie’s ranking reflects both the number of followers, the number of retweets and a series of other factors.

  7. Mark Thompson

    Go on then, I’ve had a crack here:

    I have quite a big problem with the methodology though but it could not be resolved without lots of effort! See post for details.

  8. Alasdair

    Hrm. I think your list’s a bit off. TweetLevel flatten’s the playing field a bit, and you’ve missed people out. @msgracefh, @benfurber, myself (@ralasdair) should all be in the top 12 or so, but aren’t.

    I’m not going to kid myself that I’m more influential on Twitter than David Miliband. #methodologyfail

  9. Will Straw

    Will Straw

    Alasdair – just to be clear, I only used the top 20 most followed Labour people (as per Dale’s list) so you had to have more than 3000 followers to get listed.

  10. Alasdair

    That sounded bitter – it’s not meant to be! I just think it overstates certain people…

  11. Political Scrapbook

    Haven’t quite a few Labour activists been left off this – which was kind of the point of the Tweetminster report? (TweetLevel 49) (TweetLevel 54) (TweetLevel 51) (TweetLevel 61) (TweetLevel 54)

  12. Alasdair

    Ah, I see. That makes more sense then. Still not sure about the methodology – there’s no way I’m more influential (even among my smaller following circle) than both Milibands!

    Sheds light on the interesting question of how you can measure ‘influence’ on Twitter. Lots of services try it, not sure I’ve seen any get it right yet…

  13. Ellie Gellard

    Hatter, I was rather surprised myself! You’re absolutely right, I’m nothing more than a random person with an opinion on politics, and I’m not sure how these figures are calculated.
    However, I do engage with hundreds of people on Twitter, sometimes over DM (which means you won’t see it) and sometimes in @ replies and if you’re not following the person I’m replying to, you’re unlikely to see those either. I’ll defend this Government’s record where I see fit and also admit where they’ve gone wrong. I’ve found Twitter a fantastic forum to debate policy initiatives, and use it to do so, as well as strengthening the vibrant Labour community we have built on there. And, yes, the nature of Twitter would lend itself to “spouting” sometimes too…

  14. Exclusive – Top 20 political tweeters from 3 main parties – Tory Radio

    […] my list earlier today, the list from Left Foot Forward and now the list from the excellent Mark Reckons blog, using Edelman’s Tweet Level system […]

  15. Dominic Campbell

    TweetLevel says am more influential than any Tory & 1 behind @tom_watson for Labour *plots evil*

  16. svaroschi

    RT @dominiccampbell: TweetLevel says am more influential than any Tory & 1 behind @tom_watson for Labour *plots evil*

  17. Mark Pack

    @markreckons Worth you emulating ?

  18. Tracey Cheetham

    The problem is that lists like this only include people who are chosen to be included. In terms of influence I probably rate much lower than many on some of these lists and lower than some who are not included, despite my follower count. There are activists who have enormous influence, with a relatively small follower count. I will repeat what I said on Iain Dale’s page, it isn’t what you have, it’s what you do with it that matters!

  19. Sunny H

    I take these reports with a pinch of salt – and not sure how the Edelman thing is compiled either.

    Cath Elliott for example isn’t very pro-Labour, like me. But we’re both lefties and I have more followers than some people on the list, and Tweetminister reckons I’m the third highest leftie re-tweeter and mentioned in tweets. And yet I’m not on the Edelman list.

    Also, breaking this down by party is rather silly when we’re talking about ‘progressives’ who may be outside the party structure.

  20. Sunny H

    And also – the Iain Dale list talks about top Labour tweeters being in the party machine – but doesn’t include non-Labour lefties which are outside the machine but on the left grassroots (for eg, I have more followers than 20th on that list but am left off it).

  21. Alasdair

    I think it’s also probably a mistake to use Iain Dale’s list, which was quite deliberately compiled to ‘show’ his point, and refute Tweetminster’s claim that the Tories were ‘machine’ and Labour ‘grass roots’ on Twitter.

  22. Tracey Cheetham

    For example, @CllrTim, according to the system you use, has a Twitter influence of 60, thus should have a place on the list.

  23. Ellie Gellard

    Maybe the lesson is to stop making lists and just do what we do?!

  24. Will Straw

    Will Straw

    Well said, Ellie.

    This was just a bit of fun, guys. If someone has the patience to go through every single Labour or progressive tweeter and put them through Tweet Level, I’d be happy to publish the results.

    There are clearly lots of problems with Dale’s list (eg he excluded Wes Streeting who has 2,500 followers) but I think it also indicated that our grassroots campaigners (incl Ellie) outshine the Cabinet members in terms of their “influence” while no-one on the right is as “influential” as Tom Watson.

    Back to the real work: clearing my inbox.


  25. Mark

    But is it influential? All I really see is tribal behaviour with each side lining up behind their own supporters, for example Kerry McCarthy and Ellie Gellard are extremely loyal to the Party line. That’s not influence, that’s groupthink. At least LFF promotes some more independent ideas from time to time.

  26. Labour’s REAL top-20 influencers on Twitter | Political Scrapbook

    […] the wake of Tweetminster’s report on Twitter and UK politics, Left Foot Forward have re-ordered Iain Dale’s list of the “Top 20 Labour Twitterers” using Edelman’s […]

  27. Ben Furber

    I’m Sorry Will, why are you even dignify Dale’s list?

    I’m on 61 (
    @msgracefh is on 65 (
    @gedrobinson is on 61 (

    The entire point is that it is the community as a whole that carries the weight not the individuals!

  28. Ben Furber

    Seriously @wdjstraw and @psbook, why are you writing this crap? ( +

  29. Jamie Sport

    Amen. RT @benfurber: Seriously @wdjstraw and @psbook, why are you writing this crap? ( +

  30. Paul Evans

    @tom_watson is Labour’s top influencer on twitter

  31. Paul Smith

    I know this sounds terribly self interested but wonder how one qualifies to be on your list I ran the programme and got a score of 56.5?

  32. Nic Mitchell

    I follow Labour and Tory tweeters to get the best out of social media. See Labour top twitter influencers

  33. FutureGov » Useful links » links for 2010-01-27

    […] Labour's top influencers on twitter | Left Foot Forward (tags: newlabour influence twitter politics politicalparties uk) […]

  34. Twitter influence? « …when 140 characters just isn't enough.

    […] tweets from the grass roots, and the Tories from the party machine. Left Foot Forward compiled an ‘influence’ list, based on Iain’s, and Political Scrapbook a ‘real Labour influence list‘, all […]

  35. Robert Jackson

    A quotation from the late but irrepressible Sir Richard M Knowles, slightly amended, concerning poster campaigns:

    “[Lamp]Posts don’t vote.”

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