Lib Dem MPs "more likely to be on Facebook than members of any other party"

by Stephen Tall on July 13, 2009

That’s the finding of the Hansard Society research paper MPs on Facebook:

while over half (51%) of Liberal Democrat MPs have a presence on Facebook, the figures for Labour and the Conservatives are 15% and 9%, respectively. … On a per-party basis, Liberal Democrats MPs appeared more likely to see Facebook as a communications tool (69%) but were the least likely to have personal or inactive pages. Conservative MPs were as likely to have a campaigning page as a personal one (24%) but were still most likely to be using Facebook as a communications tool (41%). Labour were the party most likely to be campaigning via this medium (33%), only slightly fewer MPs than those using Facebook as a communications tool (37%). Labour and the Conservatives were most likely to have inactive and indeterminate pages (both 12%).

The paper highlights Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson’s successful efforts to interact with her 1,500+ Facebook friends via Twitter, commenting on topical political issues, reporting on what she is doing, and tweeting from PMQs.

It concludes:

Our recommendations for MPs using this platform are straightforward; publish by all means but also be prepared to listen and respond. It’s the two-way conversational nature of social media that sets it apart and this direct engagement is increasingly what the public wants to see—and be a part of.