Reaction to Brown’s gaffe

Following Brown’s gaffe caught on microphone by Sky TV yesterday, the internet has been awash with comments on the implication for Gordon Brown and the Labour party.

We have conducted analysis on over 2,000 comments published on line at the BBC Have Your Say discussion forum specifically on this topic.

The first question to ask is will this alter the voter’s mind, so that they will vote for a different party? The figure below shows the words that are in context with the word ‘vote’, and show that the word ‘other’ is very close in context. This would imply that voters are indeed thinking of changing their mind and voting for another party. Some consolation for Labour however is that the word ‘still’ is also close in context, implying that this gaffe will not affect all voters.

If we extend this analysis to the Labour party as a whole and examine what words are in context, we see a similar story.

As expected, we see immigration a top word in context with Labour, as well as the word ‘bigot’. A number of worrying trends for Labour come through this analysis with words like ‘ruined’, ‘competency’, ‘integrity’ and ‘resign’ coming through in context with the Labour party.

Here we can see that the main themes are negative against Labour and if this instant reaction holds until the election then this single incident can be expected to have a large impact on the voting intentions of the public.

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