In the run up to the vote to choose Britain’s next government, we looked at the biggest search trends to try and predict how people would vote.
Election pollsters have been ridiculed for getting their predictions so wrong on the EU referendum and US Election, so perhaps Google’s own search data can give a better indicator of political opinions?
These graphs use search data by Google Trends, who have compiled search queries relating to the General Election between 29th May and 5th June 2017.
Many Voters Are Still Undecided….
The most searched for question relating to the general election was ‘Who should I vote for?’ emphasising that many voters were still undecided with only a few days to go.
The fluctuating opinion poll results saw an upsurge in interest for search terms relating to this such as ‘What is a hung parliament?’ and ‘Will Labour win?’
Jeremy Corbyn Was the Most Googled Leader
Whether for positive or negative reasons, Jeremy Corbyn was the most searched for party leader of the election campaign, with Theresa May only taking up top spot after her statement on the 4th June in the wake of the London terrorist attacks.
Brexit Wasn’t High on Voters’ Agendas
Despite this being billed as the ‘Brexit Election‘, voters were searching more for issues closer to home such as tax, housing and the NHS.
Whilst the different party positions on Brexit were still a factor as they are linked to many of these issues, Brexit didn’t have the same importance that many had predicted before the campaign.
Labour Saw an Upsurge in Membership Interest
The biggest search volume relating to ‘Join the + political party’ was for the Labour Party by a substantial majority (67%).
Join the + Liberal Democrats (9%), Conservatives (9%), SNP (6%) and ‘others’ (9%) made up far less of the search interest, with the Lib Dems in particular losing ground from when the election was announced.
People Were Considering Another Hung Parliament (and wondering what it is!)
Search interest for the term ‘hung parliament’ dramatically increased after a YouGov poll on the 31st May showed that a hung parliament could be a possibility.
This led to people querying the meaning of a ‘hung parliament’ and what exactly happens if voters don’t return an absolute majority for any party.
Increase in Search Volume for Labour, With Many People Still Undecided
Looking across the figures, it’s clear that Labour and Jeremy Corbyn generating more interest online in the run up to the General Election.
These results from Google Trends also show that many voters were still undecided, with votes still up for grabs with only a few days to go.
Update 22/06/2017: The search data from this report was reflected in the Election result, with the Conservatives losing their majority and Labour increasing their vote share. This resulted in a hung parliament with the Conservatives forming a government with the backing of the DUP.