Consumer Data Research Centre
 

Analysing conversations on Twitter: Do e-petitions help to increase public engagement with politics?

Analysing conversations on Twitter: Do e-petitions help to increase public engagement with politics?

 

CDRC Data Science Intern, Molly Asher, is currently conducting a pilot study on the effectiveness of the UK Parliament’s e-petitions system with the goal to determine whether e-petitions have led to a rise in trust in parliament, the development of new engagement with parliament and/or policy changes.

The full project will develop a comprehensive analysis of a parliamentary e-petitioning system, which integrates the views of petitioners, the actual processes dealing with petitions, the public debate surrounding the petitions, the views from policy-makers and the outcomes of petitions. The project adopts a mixed-methods and inter-disciplinary approach, incl. Data Science analysis of all petitions (incl. themes, success probability, geographical representation, timing of signatures, nature of the petition & partisanship) and the petition debates on Twitter (incl. themes, sentiment analysis, nature of the debate, e.g. the level of polarization and partisanship, geographical representation, social network analysis of those involved in the debate).

Molly is currently conducting a pilot study on the petition debates on Twitter and potentially linking them in an analysis of the e-petition data.  She presented her findings at a recent LIDA Seminar:

 

Data

Molly is currently using the following data for the pilot study project:

  • Twitter data collected via the Twitter Streaming API
  • UK parliament e-petition where JSON data files are available for download with each petition.

 

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