If you're wondering why the London Eye looked a bit multicoloured last night, it's because it was showing a giant, pie-chart-like visualisation of how people are talking about the election on Facebook — and it'll be displaying different things each night up to (and including) the election on 7 May.
By 'talking about', that means any party mentioned, or a like, share or comment. Turns out UKIP was the most talked about party between 1 January and 1 May, with 15.6m interactions from 3m individual users. (Of course, there's no saying whether these interactions are positive or negative...) The Conservatives came second with 12.2m interactions from 2.5m people, then Labour (9.7m interactions from 2m people), Lib Dems (2m interactions from 688,000 people; quite a sharp drop-off there), the SNP (2m interactions from 415,000 people) and then the Greens (1.3m interactions from 434,000 people).
Interestingly, UKIP is apparently the main party talked about by people in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, where Boris Johnson is standing, and Holborn and St Pancras, where Natalie Bennett is standing.
If you want to know what you're looking at on any given night, this is what the Eye will be displaying:
- 1 May: the main parties discussed
- 2 May: the main parties discussed by men
- 3 May: the main parties discussed by women
- 4 May: the top five election issues
- 5 May: the main political parties discussed in Scotland. Yes, displayed on the London Eye, which we're sure will go down a treat with all the people who think the SNP are already in with a shout of having too much influence in Westminster
- 6 May: the main party leaders discussed
- 7 May: a surprise.
The light show starts at 9.30pm each night (so a bit early for the 7 May surprise to be the exit poll), and has been created by Bompas and Parr. Sam Bompas said:
"During the last election we created the Parliamentary Waffle House, an election-themed eatery featuring a food based swing-o-meter. For 2015 we are delighted to use the huge volume of Facebook conversations about politics to create an inspiring installation that we hope will encourage people to have their say — on Facebook and at the polls on 7 May."
Read more of Londonist's election coverage.