As Scotland gets ready to cast its vote on whether it should become independent from the United Kingdom, the worldwide web is practically blaring out its opinions and predictions to anyone who wants to hear. And with the Scottish going to polls tomorrow to vote either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to independence, it is no surprise that the internet is only getting noisier.
According to Digimind’s Social Listening Intelligence, the Scottish Referendum has generated over 100,000 mentions online since September 12th from sources such as Twitter, Facebook, and news sites.
But what can all of this noise really tell us? Well, for the politicians desperate to keep Scotland as a member of the Union, it would be much more useful to filter out the opinions of the rest of the world and just focus on how the British, and most importantly the Scottish, are feeling in the lead up to the vote. Luckily, with Digimind we can filter out the noise to see just what people from the UK are talking about in relation to the Scottish Referendum.
From this word cloud, we can see that the #BetterTogether campaign has generated over 4,000 mentions and #VoteNo has been mentioned about 1,000 times by people in the UK. If you compare this to the #VoteYes campaign which has generated over 6,100 mentions, you might be inclined to predict that Scotland will be independent from the United Kingdom when the results are announced on September 19th.
However, as any good social media manager knows, it’s not the numbers that are important, but rather the reasons behind those numbers. In the word cloud, we can see topics such as Currency and NHS have generated a lot of discussion throughout the Referendum campaign. By drilling down into the individual mentions, it seems that the uncertainty surrounding a new currency and how this will affect taxation and public services like the NHS is a big persuader for those voting against independence.
However, for those voting ‘yes’ to independence, it seems they are confident that the country’s oil supplies (Scotland holds two thirds of Europe’s oil reserves) will keep their economy afloat.
It would also appear that the supporters of independence are skeptical about the UK government keeping its promises to Scotland if they decide to stay within the Union.
And if social media figures are correct and the Scottish National Party do succeed in their quest for independence, one thing is clear; the impact on Scotland will be huge. Just perhaps not in the way that this spoof Twitter account envisages: