Artillery Row

Cabinet Wars – Episode I

How do the cabinet and shadow cabinet stack up on Twitter?

It’s often said that Labour has a better game when it comes to social media, especially during election time. But how do members of the Cabinet stack up against their opposite number on Twitter?

Leadership: One for the Tories
When Jeremy Corbyn was Labour leader he was by far the most popular MP on Twitter. Theresa May received a huge boost of followers from being Prime Minister but was no match for the proud allotment holder. Boris Johnson however, now has three times as many followers as Keir Starmer and has even overtaken Jeremy Corbyn to become the most followed MP. The current leader of the opposition is languishing behind Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn and is ranked 4th most followed MP on Twitter. Certainly an indication he hasn’t yet inspired the youth to start singing “Oh Keir Starmer”.

Treasury – Easy Conservative Win
The lockdown debt-fuelled spending spree including the hugely popular ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ restaurant discount has made the previously unknown Chancellor of the Exchequer a Household name. Rishi Sunak’s popularity is reflected on Social Media and has eight times the number of followers compared to the almost unknown Shadow Chancellor, Anneliese Dodds. Sunak is ranked 10th amongst all MPs on Twitter, whereas his Labour shadow is ranked 73rd. 40 year old Sunak has introduced his personal branding to all the giveaway treasury announcements on Twitter – a savvy move for an ambitious politician. 

Meanwhile the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Steve Barclay has slightly fewer followers than the Shadow Chief Secretary: Bridget Phillipson. Barclay, the former Brexit Secretary is ranked 119 amongst all MPs on Twitter whereas his opposite number, the Sunderland South MP, is ranked slightly higher at 111. 

Deputies – Close win for the Tories
The First Secretary of State (and Foreign Secretary) Dominic Raab has 10% more followers than the Shadow First Secretary of State Angela Rayner. The former Brexit Secretary and Tory leadership challenger is ranked 17 amongst all MPs on Twitter, one ahead of the woman Momentum successfully backed to become Keir Starmer’s deputy leader and Chair of the Labour Party.

Home Office – Home run for the Conservatives
Home Secretary Priti Patel has almost ten times more followers than Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds. Her previous popularity amongst Brexiteers and small c conservatives means Priti Patel is well known, and as a regular Twitter user is ranked number 16 amongst MPs on Twitter. However her recent failure in tackling the illegal channel crossings, and her insistence that there are too many white people working in her department may have slightly dampened her popularity in her natural supporter base, even if she refuses to drop the term “activist lawyers” when discussing the frequent legal challenges against deporting illegal immigrants. All this debate is going on largely without anybody even having heard of the Labour MP Thomas-Symonds who is supposed to be scrutinising her department. The MP for Torfaen is the 153rd most popular MP on Twitter.

Episode 2 coming soon.

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