The Influence of Social Media on Elections

Influence of Social Media on US Elections

In 2008, the United States elections between John McCain and Barrack Obama indicated a rise in the use of social media and its influence on supporters. Social media was one of the psychological ways in which voters got influenced. The social media campaigns took place on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and creators of viral videos. Innovative social media techniques can be used to influence elections. From time to time, presidential candidates make use of technology to pass their message to the public. Franklin Roosevelt used radio broadcasts to pass a message to the American public directly. The use of radio enabled him to connect with many Americans. On the other hand, John Kennedy realized that the Great presidential debates on television could influence about forty percent of the American population. John F. Kennedy used this strategy to win presidential elections in 1960 (White et al., 2000).

Shift to Online Platforms

An increase in the number of people using social media made news outlets shift to online platforms (Stuart, 2016). Youtube allows individuals to share their videos while Facebook and Twitter enable the sharing of information and opinions among users. The internet enabled thirty-five percent of voters to get information about potential candidates in the year 2008. People that use social media end up sharing information with the inactive young voters leading to an increase of voter participation by four percent. The increase in voter turnout in 2008 is owed to the sharing of political views on social media. In 2008, Barrack Obama received a majority of the votes from the young population. Barack Obama used a campaign strategy that entailed the use of technology to target people on social media and establish a good connection with the voters. The campaign team constituted young voters that supported Barack Obama and drove him into the presidency.


The report used secondary data to obtain information about elections held in the United Kingdom since 2010. Time and cost-effectiveness are two beneficial factors for carrying out the research using secondary data sources. Secondary data sources are easily accessible to researchers through libraries or online databases, hence the preference for the research. Moreover, it takes less time to collect the data as compared to the collection of data from primary sources. Another reason for using secondary data is its extensiveness. There is a broad range of information stored in secondary data sources, which is adequate to carry out meaningful research and come up with meaningful conclusions.

Data Analysis/Evidence

In the year 2014, the United Kingdom Labor Party borrowed a leaf from the presidential elections held in 2008 in the United States of America (Evans & Tilley, 2017). The UK labor party decided not to depend on newspaper and television methods after Barack Obama succeeded in reaching out to young voters via social media. The UK labor party found sense in the establishment of online platforms for sharing views with young voters (Shipman, 2017). The power of social media can get used to campaign for elections and nurture a good relationship with voters. From experience in 2008, Obama's competitor also used online campaign strategies. Barack Obama counteracted that by spending ten times more on technology platforms in 2012 presidential campaigns. Barack Obama extended his online platforms to sites such as Pinterest and Instagram, hence remaining in power through the second term. As people keep joining social media, the political audience becomes broad. Obama initiated the use of technology in reaching out to young voters, and major election candidates have taken up this trend. Social media has been used to mobilize a large number of people, becoming the standard practice among politicians. New trends in technology can get used to achieving political success.

Ethnic Minorities and the UK Elections

In the 2010 UK elections, only sixteen percent of the votes went for conservatives while three quarters were for the UK Labor party (Ashcroft, 2012). The conservative party got fewer votes based on its lack of support from ethnic minorities. There is a huge gap between the conservative party and ethnic minorities in the UK. The Conservative party has worked to address the gaps between voters (Ipsos MORI, 2015). In 2010, the labor party gained about six percent of the non-white population. The ethnic minorities in the conservative party cost it seats. The UK population felt that the mainstream party had nothing to say to them. Election results in the UK among ethnic and religious minorities revealed a lot of information (House of Commons, 2014). The political orientation of a huge mass of ethnic minority has a close link to the class identities. The community history, as well as experience from the time of arrival in the UK, shaped this culture. Labor became the party of the immigrants that entered Britain to do jobs while residing in working-class regions, including people with professional careers. The labor party mainly constituted the working-class population. On the contrary, the conservative party mainly constituted the well-off middle-class population. A majority of non-conservative population believed that the party was not meant for them. These people did not share in the values of the party. However, poll results of whites against those of ethnic minorities revealed that the low popularity of the conservative party among black or Asian voters was not just about class or geographical area. Records reveal huge disparities between ethnic groups or alarming differences in votes between whites and non-whites (Evans & Tilley, 2017). The ethnic minorities get attracted to the conservative brand. The Conservative party voters felt that they would consider the Labor party if it helped their families get established in Britain and formulated laws that advocated for fair treatment. A significant number of the population believed that the Labor party was least concerned about the welfare of the ethnic minorities. Ethnic minorities were hit on from time to time and got blamed for the riots that took place. There was a lasting effect among ethnic minority voters. The government and the European Union tightened migration laws to reduce the number of immigrants despite the hard labor they provided. The law reduced immigration by Blacks and Asians while Australians had more access to the UK (Eaton, 2018). The white and non-white immigrants got different treatment. Conservatives appear to have less representation from ethnic minorities, which proves that the Conservative party does not engage its communities. A black member of parliament must be very rich to take a position under the Conservative party (Ashcroft, 2012). It appears that significant posts are given to a few ethnic minorities for presentation purposes of which the persons in power have minimal influence.

Views of Ethnic Minorities Towards Political Parties

A politician in the Conservative party would address the needs of the ethnic minorities in his speech, but the population may feel that the politician does not mean their words (Evans & Tilley, 2017). The population may feel that the Labor party did more regarding supporting their families or creating fair taxation. The Labor party has gained popularity among the people, resultantly easing its support towards families and putting less effort towards it. Minority groups would resist voting for The Conservative Party based on the view that the Conservative party has been hostile to ethnic or religious groups and that it does not advocate for fairness among all (Eaton, 2018). The Conservative party has a task to change these views which seem to be out of control. However, research shows that religious groups believe that the Conservative party is changing for the better with reduced hostility towards minority groups. Political organizations should be careful not to treat ethnic minority groups differently to improve voter participation. The Conservative party ought to speak about its values and policies in a manner that addresses different backgrounds as well as their anxieties and goals. The Conservative party fails in that it appears to be biased towards religious or cultural identities.

The Working Class and Voter Turnout

Another trend is that some working class does not belong to any party, whereas the amount of resources is not a determining factor. Education or wealth should enable individuals to take part in politics with increased public ownership and economic or religious identities. Working-class persons no longer form a part of major parties since they opt to sit back. In the UK, the working-class population opted out of the election process since they feel that their views are less represented. The working-class people decide to stay away from the polls. However, a new party came up, and it directly appealed to the working-class population in the UK. This new party attracted the voting population with a greater appeal to the working class voters. In England, UKIP was the party that registered the highest voter participation among the working class. Most working-class voters shifted from other parties. The increase in voter participation among the working class is an appeal to other parties to come up with policies that interest its participants. This would tremendously work positively on the voter turnout even among non-voters.



Ashcroft, M., 2012. Degrees of Separation: Ethnic Minority Voters and the Conservative Party. 1st ed. London: Biteback Publishing.

Eaton, G., 2018. Boomers vs. Millennials: the defining schism in UK politics. [Online]

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[Accessed 27 February 2018].

Evans, G. " Tilley, J., 2017. The New Politics of Class: The Political Exclusion of the British Working Class. 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

House of Commons, 2014. Voter engagement in the UK, London: The Stationery Office Limited.

Ipsos MORI, 2015. How Britain voted in 2015. [Online]

Available at:

[Accessed 27 February 2018].

Shipman, T., 2017. Fall Out: A Year of Political Mayhem. 1st ed. London: HarperCollins Publishers.

Stuart, F., 2016. Apathy or alienation? The mystery of the missing young voters. In: More Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box: Another 50 Things You Need To Know About Elections. London: Biteback Publishers, pp. 43-46.

White, C., Bruce, S., Ritchie, J. " Foundation, J. R., 2000. Young people's politics: Political interest and engagement amongst 14-24-year-olds. 1st ed. Layerthorpe: York Publishing Services.

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