Before the election, Jeremy Corbyn was the most "central" member of the PLP. Now, Stella Creasy has overtaken him. Why?by Nicholas Blincoe, Robert Blincoe / October 20, 2017 / Leave a comment
It is hard to argue with the fact that Jeremy Corbyn’s position as leader of the Labour Party was strengthened by his performance in the June 2017 election. However, social media reveals a different story.
An analysis of the way Twitter is used within the Parliamentary Labour Party reveals how a Corbyn-agnostic network has coalesced around a group of women within the PLP.
The most central figure in the PLP is no longer Jeremy Corbyn—at least according to this analysis—but Stella Creasy.
242 of the 262 Labour MPs have Twitter accounts, which means the social media platform is a unique roadmap to the way the PLP communicates. It is not simply about who tweets the most and to whom, but about degrees of closeness.
Between the May 2015 General election and the June 2017 election, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was the central figure in the parliamentary Labour party—a position confirmed by the activity of Labour MPs on Twitter. For two years, Corbyn was directly tweeted to, or retweeted by, more Labour MPs than any other Labour MP.
Not only that, but Corbyn was also the glue connecting the parliamentary party together. There is a statistical measure of this kind of proximity: from May 2015 to June 2017, Corbyn was ahead on a metric of the most “shortest paths.” Like Kevin Bacon in the famous game, Corbyn was closer to more MPs than any other member of the PLP.
However, this rapidly changed after the 2017 election.
Data collected from Twitter since then reveals Corbyn isn’t at the centre of his party’s online discussions any more. Now, Walthamstow MP Stella…