Politicians use social ahead of elections

By Danielle Middleton topicIcon Social Media

How politicians used social ahead of the EU elections

Over the course of this week, Europe has been heading to the poll stations to elect members of the European parliament.

28 countries have been voting across four days for which parties should earn seats in the EU's only directly elected body. The UK's voters will also be voting in their local elections, which will be the final opportunity for the parties to test the public's opinion ahead of the general election in 2015.

The UK and the EU elections

Today those in the UK who have registered will be able to make their way to their local polling stations to vote in who will take the 73 UK seats in the European Parliaments.

The UK has 31 parties in the EU elections vying for seats, with some more well-known than others.

This week on Twitter, UKIP candidate Donna Edmunds helped her party make the news again with the trending hashtag #WhyImVotingUkip, with over 60,000 tweets since Tuesday night. However, the "spur of the moment" tweet backfired as tweeters hijacked the hashtag:

Meanwhile, David Cameron has taken to
Vine, Nick Clegg organised a question and answer session on Twitter and Ed Miliband tweeted shareable memes regarding the Conservative's policy alongside the hashtag #ForTheMany.

Rachel Hand, head of content at theEword said: "In years gone by the voting population have stated they feel less informed about the EU elections than any other. However, with the substantial role that social media now plays in the lives of the majority it has become easier for politicians to distribute campaign slogans, reach the masses and influence the younger demographic who have previously been the least likely to vote."