This is the social media General Election. So everyone says. Well, everyone on social media.
Last week Twitter was agog as party leader fan groups appeared. It began with the #Millifans, then some 13-year old swot started the #Cameronettes in retaliation. I never did hear if we got #Cleggers and #Faragoyles but it was all quite entertaining. A bit like the 1970s rivalry between the Bay City Roller and Osmond fans. (That's Donny not George.)
Away from the rarified depths of national politics, how are our local candidates doing on Twitter?
The LimDem’s Big Tim is a regular Tweeter. He’s been on since 2009 and currently has 25,443 followers. He often pops up to interact or tell people what he’s up to.
The Conservative’s Doctor Doctor (joined in 2014, 350 followers) is a bit sporadic. Her account name ends ‘2015'. A date in your Twitter handle is usually when you were born or an indication that the account is going to be thrown away at the end of the year. Guess which?
In 2010, the Tory candidate, Gareth McGareth, had two Twitter accounts. The first one was opened shortly after he was selected. It got 9 followers, then plunged into silence before a new one was opened. Who lost their password then? He hasn’t tweeted for 1,826 days so we can assume he finds his @votegareth handle less useful now.
The Labour (2011 and 193 followers) and Green (2014, 190) local candidates are moderately active, averaging a tweet a day. Green Chris has upped his rate recently, probably because it’s more ecological than showering locals with unwanted leaflets.
The local UKIPers don’t seem to have any Twitter account. Come on chaps, get a move on evolving those opposable thumbs.
Finally, 2015’s bookies’ favourite, The Apathy Party, has had a Twitter account since 2012 but only got 53 followers.
Don’t go following them; you’ll only frighten them into thinking they have to do some work.