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Move over Gerry Adams, Peter Robinson is the new king of Twitter

By Rebecca Black

Published 19/05/2015

DUP leader Peter Robinson uses his Twitter to break major political stories, such as last week's Executive reshuffle
DUP leader Peter Robinson uses his Twitter to break major political stories, such as last week's Executive reshuffle

First Minister Peter Robinson has been deemed one of the most influential politicians on Twitter - even beating Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams and his often eyebrow-raising tweets.

Mr Adams' Twitter feed has inspired columns across the world with his updates about his teddy bear, dog, fondness for rubber ducks and even trampolining naked.

By contrast, Mr Robinson uses his Twitter to break major political stories, such as last week's Executive reshuffle. Instead of a more formal announcement style, Mr Robinson revealed on his Twitter feed that Arlene Foster had been appointed as the new Finance Minister, and that Simon Hamilton had been moved to the Department of Health.

With 83,000 followers on Twitter, Mr Adams has four times the support that Mr Robinson has (21,000), yet the DUP leader has been calculated as being more influential.

According to Press Association analysis, SNP MP Stewart Hosie is the most influential UK politician on Twitter, but Mr Robinson is a close second, followed by Liberal Democrat Tim Farron, Green Party leader Caroline Lucas and then Mr Adams.

Meanwhile, Labour MP Chuka Umunna saw the largest growth in Twitter followers of any politician in the UK since the general election after he threw his hat into the ring to become the next leader of his battered party.

The shadow business secretary's followers jumped in number by 16.7%

Mr Umunna, who subsequently withdrew from the Labour leadership contest at the end of last week due to the added media scrutiny he came under, also made it into the top 10 politicians with the highest approval ratings on Twitter.

In general, Labour and the SNP have performed best on Twitter since May 7.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, who's in the race for Labour leader, joined Umunna in the top five politicians with the biggest growth in followers, while Labour has also been the most talked-about party.

The SNP has seen the largest percentage increase in followers of the parties, and deputy leader Hosie has won the highest approval rating of the week.

By contrast, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had the lowest approval rating on Twitter, scoring an average of just 9.9%.

New Business Secretary Sajid Javid scored the next lowest approval rating of the past seven days, scoring 38.8%.

But Mr Javid performed strongly in terms of follower growth, enjoying a rise of 13.6% - the second-highest increase behind Mr Umunna.

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