Social media and the Scottish independence referendum 2014: events and the generation of enthusiasm for yes

Mark Peter Shephard, Stephen Quinlan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Abstract

We track the social media activity of the two main campaigns in the Scottish independence referendum, Yes Scotland (YS) and Better Together (BT), by monitoring their respective Facebook and Twitter accounts on weekdays from August 2013 until the referendum vote in September 2014. We explore the relationship between key events and online support and find that the Yes Scotland campaign pulled ahead of the Better Together campaign in terms of online enthusiasm (especially following the launch of the White Paper in November 2013), and that it accelerated exponentially in the closing weeks of the campaign as a number of events helped give it an advantage. Although further research is needed, it is interesting to note how this transformation in mobilisation online for Yes preceded big movements in support offline in the closing weeks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics
EditorsAxel Bruns, Gunn Enli, Eli Skogerbo, Anders Olof Larsson, Christian Christensen
Place of PublicationOxford
Pages488-502
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2015

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Keywords

  • social media
  • referendum
  • Scotland
  • politics
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • campaign

Cite this

Shephard, M. P., & Quinlan, S. (2015). Social media and the Scottish independence referendum 2014: events and the generation of enthusiasm for yes. In A. Bruns, G. Enli, E. Skogerbo, A. O. Larsson, & C. Christensen (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics (pp. 488-502). Oxford.