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Pro-Labour stories were most shared on social media in last week with alternative news website topping chart

By Freddy Mayhew

The most shared news story about the UK general election on social media over the past week is an article by an alternative news website reporting on a “viral” pro-Labour Facebook post, new data shows.

The story is headlined: “This Facebook comment about Jeremy Corbyn is going viral,” and has been shared a total of 57,300 times across five social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and Google+).

On Facebook alone the story has been shared 54,500 times – and 2,700 times on Twitter.

It is published by The London Economic, which describes itself as a “non-profit newspaper run by volunteers and contributors” founded in 2012.

It repeats a Facebook comment by Chris Renwick which pours scorn on the portrayal of Jeremy Corbyn by “the media arm of the establishment”.

It says: “We’ve waited forever for an honest politician to come along but instead of getting behind him we bow to the establishment like good little workers. They whistle and we do a little dance for them. We run around like hypnotised robots repeating headlines we’ve read, all nodding and agreeing.”

The story topped Buzzsumo data revealing the most shared online articles relating to the “general election” over the past seven days, which have been analysed by Press Gazette for their political leaning.

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Last month Press Gazette used Buzzsumo data under the same search terms covering a month since the snap general election was called.

That found the most shared news stories about the general election on social media were overwhelmingly anti-Tory with the Independent claiming the highest number of shares of any title.

This new analysis comes less than a week before polling day on 8 June.

Of the top 20 most shared articles over the past week, a considerably larger number were pro-Labour/anti-Tory in sentiment than were pro-Tory. The majority were neutral.

In total, Press Gazette’s assessment of the political leanings of the top 20 stories broke down as follows:

  • Nine neutral
  • Eight pro-Labour/anti-Tory
  • Two pro-Tory
  • One pro-Green

Stories about polling results were deemed neutral, though within the top 20 they all reported on Labour gains. The top three most shared stories were all deemed pro-Labour/anti-Tory.

The second most shared was a story by the Daily Mirror headlined: “Why should I not vote Conservative? 29 nasty policies you shouldn’t forget in the 2017 general election,” with a total of 38,300 shares.

The third most shared was also by the Daily Mirror and headlined: “Tory Michael Fallon slates ‘Jeremy Corbyn quote’ live on air – then realises they were Boris Johnson’s words,” and was shared 31,200 times.

The Mirror was the most featured title in the top 20, appearing five times. The Independent featured four times.

More than half of the stories in the top 20 were published by newspapers associated with the left, including the Daily Mirror, Guardian and Independent.

The most shared article on Twitter, with 20,800 shares, was the BBC’s “General election latest” which is a daily live blog.

None of the twenty most shared stories were fake news (defined as bogus stories manufactured for financial or political gain).

Top 20 most shared articles under “general election” search covering seven days to 2 June (data by Buzzsumo):

Headline Publication Facebook shares Twitter shares Total shares Political analysis
1 This Facebook comment about Jeremy Corbyn is going viral thelondoneconomic.com 54,500 2,700 57,300 pro-Labour/anti-Tory
2 Why should I not vote Conservative? 29 nasty policies you shouldn’t forget in the 2017 general election mirror.co.uk 38,300 32 38,300 pro-Labour/anti-Tory
3 Tory Michael Fallon slates ‘Jeremy Corbyn quote’ live on air mirror.co.uk 28,700 2,500 31,200 pro-Labour/anti-Tory
4 Amber Rudd to represent Tories in BBC general election debate theguardian.com 22,200 6,000 28,200 neutral
5 General election latest bbc.co.uk 5,100 20,800 25,900 neutral
6 General election: Labour close gap on Tories to six points, new poll show independent.co.uk 24,900 534 25,500 neutral
7 UK General Election polls: Jeremy Corbyn in shock surge as Labour leader now more popular than Theresa May in London standard.co.uk 21,400 2,100 23,500 neutral
8 Theresa May backs plan to sell off ‘underused’ NHS assets to property developers independent.co.uk 12,600 6,600 19,200 pro-Labour/anti-Tory
9 The signs are there – is Jeremy Corbyn going to win the general election? nme.com 18,900 176 19,100 pro-Labour/anti-Tory
10 General election poll: Jeremy Corbyn surges ahead of Theresa May in London independent.co.uk 16,400 2,200 18,600 neutral
11 Poll firm predicts shock losses for Theresa May’s Tories at general election thetimes.co.uk 15,400 509 15,900 neutral
12 Theresa May losing the general election would be good for the pound, says JP Morgan independent.co.uk 12,500 2,900 15,400 pro-Labour/anti-Tory
13 Europe will ‘postpone crunch Brexit talks’ if Jeremy Corbyn wins keys to Downing Street in general election mirror.co.uk 8,800 812 9,600 neutral
14 Russell Brand endorses Jeremy Corbyn as he backs Labour in General Election standard.co.uk 8,200 80 8,300 pro-Labour/anti-Tory
15 Fake news! Tories have said all these things in the general election campaign mirror.co.uk 6,100 1,900 8,000 pro-Labour/anti-Tory
16 In praise of Caroline Lucas: a shining light this election inews.co.uk 7,200 202 7,400 pro-Green
17 General Election 2017 Latest Polls Confirm Jeremy Corbyn Closing Gap On Theresa May huffingtonpost.co.uk 6,900 232 7,200 neutral
18 Theresa May’s ‘strong’ handling of the terror crisis has put her back on track for a strong lead in General Election, poll reveals thesun.co.uk 6,900 197 7,100 pro-Tory
19 General Election: Farage urges BBC to sack chiefs for ‘biased’ debate express.co.uk 6,000 702 6,700 Pro-Tory
20 Shock poll claims Tories could LOSE seats and fail to win a majority in the 2017 general election mirror.co.uk 6,100 587 6,700 neutral

Picture: Reuters/Russell Cheyne 

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