Friday 24 November 2017

'Word clouds' offer insight into buzz phrases of political parties

Matt Williams

The use of words in the three main manifestos offers an insight into the political lexicon parties hope will influence British voters.

Using the internet tool, the documents can be reduced to "word clouds" of phrases which differ in size in relation to their usage.

Across all three the word "people" figures prominently. But whereas "change" is clearly seen in the Tory version, it is dwarfed in Labour's word cloud by "continue".

"Cuts" -- small but visible in the Conservatives' and Liberal Democrats' versions -- appears to be missing in Labour's word cloud, although mention is made of "savings" and "costs".

It may position itself as the party of small state, but "government" is ironically one of the most dominant words in the Conservatives' word cloud.

Other references which stand out in the Tory manifesto are "local", "public" and "economy".

Brian Jenner, founder of the UK Speechwriters' Guild and an accomplished business and political speechwriter, said notable omissions from the word clouds were of equal interest.

"The large elephant in the room is 'immigration'," Mr Jenner said in reference to the lack of prominence of the word in all three word clouds.

But he added that clear patterns did emerge, with the Tories keen to push the idea of "change" compared to Labour's emphasis on continuation.

Irish Independent

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