Political parties all sound like middle-aged men on official Twitter accounts, analysis shows

The main political parties sound like 50- to 65-year-old men on their official Twitter accounts, according to an analysis of the language used in their tweets.


The tone of voice of tweets sent from the accounts of Labour, the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and even the Green Party sound overwhelmingly male and middle-aged.

Using technology designed for child protection and the intelligence services to track criminals online, Relative Insight analysed the last 2,000 tweets sent from the official accounts of the political parties.

It scored them using two measurements.

The first was ‘gender matching’, which matched the language used to its models of a verified male or female linguistic style.

The second was the ‘age resonance profile’, which matched language to its model of a verified age band for a linguistic style.

Relative Insight analysed language, syntax and use of grammar to make its assessments.

The Conservatives’ Twitter account scored an 80 per cent match to a male linguistic style using gender matching and the highest proportion of the party’s tweets fell within the 60- to 64-year-old bracket using the age resonance profile.

The Green Party, which famously mocked the mainstream political parities recently with its "What are you afraid of boys?" poster, fared only slightly better than the Conservatives with a 69 per cent match to a male linguistic style using gender matching.

Once again, the greatest proportion of the party’s tweets, 29 per cent, fell within the 60- to 64-year-old age resonance profile bracket.

Defying expectation, UKIP had a slightly lower match to a male linguistic style at 78 per cent and the greatest proportion of its tweets fell within the 50- to 54-year-old bracket.

These results were not dissimilar to Labour, which scored 79 per cent match to a masculine linguistic style and which also fell within the 50- to 54-year-old bracket for the greatest number of its tweets.

The Lib Dems also had similar results to Labour and UKIP.

Rich Wilson, chief marketing officer at Relative Insight, said: "Since younger Twitter users are more inclined to use an informal style, it’s no surprise that the parties are determined to be resonating with a much older audience. The same applies in the gender resonance – female Twitter accounts are much more informal than male accounts. The message here is that they need to relax a little."

But Wilson warned the parties not to make the mistake of relaxing too much.

He continued: "The danger is what we refer to as the 'dad at a disco' phenomenon – by becoming too informal, for example by using youthful colloquialisms or topics, you can sound inauthentic."

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