Our new analysis focusses on the importance of policy areas to the electorate. For this analysis we have downloaded and analysed every comment made on every separate discussion thread on the BBC Have your say discussion forums for the month of April. We have then created a score based on the contextual analysis of the various policy areas to see which areas have been discussed the most.
Notice that this analysis is therefore not unbiased, since the public are not free to create new discussion threads. However the threads that discuss the television debates are more wide ranging and give the opportunity for the public to discuss any areas that they feel were not covered elsewhere.
It is unsurprising, when reviewing the results, to see tax and the economy at the top of the public’s priorities. Europe and business follow closely behind which are obviously also linked to the current economic climate.
The next issues to come through are education and schools, which are obviously the same topic.
Rather surprisingly, given the amount of attention it has received during this election campaign, immigration does not score so highly, perhaps suggesting that the electorate are not impressed by the squabbles between the party leaders on this topic and that the economy and the future job prospects for most people concern them more.
Corruption also scores quite low, which is again surprising given the earlier scandal around MPs expenses. However this perhaps shows that the electorate has moved past this issue and are more interested in the difference that the politicians can make for them, and that this particular topic is not going to dominate the election as some had previously feared.
We will continue this analysis in the coming days to examine whether there is a shift in public opinion in these areas.