Top of the trolls

Weber Shandwick tracks the negative sentiment on Twitter towards key politicians in the run up to #GE2015.

David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband: they’ve all suffered at the hand of the Internet troll.

Trolls can be destructive, callous and absurd. They delight, inflame and expose in equal measure.

United by a disdain for slick rick politicians and ‘the establishment’, the troll is the natural enemy of the political classes.

Over the next few months Weber Shandwick will be tracking the effect of these dangerous creatures on a selection of our top 11 UK politicians to watch as they fight for the public’s affection in the run-up to May.

* Negative Twitter Sentiment tracked using Sentiment 140, one of the pre-eminent free sentiment trackers on the web.

Here’s a few key findings from this week’s scores at the doors:

1. A better week for Nick

After a disastrous last week full of Joey Essex, the Liberal Democrats leader has bounced back. A 29 point drop on this week’s troll-o-meter makes Mr. Clegg this week’s biggest gainer. Riding on the back of a (relatively) successful televised debate, could we be seeing a bounce back for the embattled leader?

2. No surgeon for Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon’s political renaissance continues this week. The SNP leader dropped 11 points on this week’s troll-o-meter, making her consistently the least trolled leader of any major party in the UK. This despite a leaked memo revealing she would rather David Cameron as PM after May, having publicly backed Ed Miliband for the job.

3. The invisible Osborne

Have you noticed a bit of a missing presence this week? The chancellor has hardly been spotted since he refused to debate with Ed Balls on the  Andrew Marr Show last week. This is not to say there haven’t still been ample trolling opportunities for the Twitter menaces. This photo opp for a specialized ‘George the hoover’ being one of many. So why has George’s score plummeted? Perhaps because the trolls have focused their Tory attacks on the PM. Mr. Cameron’s score rocketed 11 points this week. But don’t worry George, your time will come…