Sunday 23 September 2018

Public confidence in May's handling of Brexit collapses

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

David Young

Public confidence in Theresa May's handling of Brexit has plummeted in the past six months, an Northern Irish analysis of social media has indicated.

The prime minister's popularity dropped by half between June and December while anger towards her doubled over the same period.

The study of emotional reactions to Mrs May on Twitter was conducted by data scientists in Belfast.

The experts from Queen's University-based firm Adoreboard used algorithms to translate different types of emotions into an indexed rating system.

It factors in feelings expressed in tweets such as joy, surprise, trust, anger, disgust, fear and sadness.

According to the study, Mrs May's rating in June was 42, but by Christmas it had dropped to 20.

The level of anger recorded on Twitter rose from nine to 18 over those six months, while trust over the same period decreased from 35 to 30.

The study involved the analysis of almost 70,000 tweets posted between June 23 and December 26 in connection with Mrs May's dealings with Brexit.

Irish Independent

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