On May 7th the UK will elect MPs, Members of Parliament to form the next UK Government. As this is the most unpredictable UK election in history we thought we would point the cognitiveSEO tool at the subject and see what we could reveal. I think you will agree that there are some very surprising outcomes.


We looked at the websites of the major parties in the UK general election and analyses their backlinks and social signals using the cognitiveSEO tool.


Conservative Party

Conservative Party

cognitiveSEO Backlink Explorer - Conservative Party


Labour Party

Labour Party

cognitiveSEO Backlink Explorer - Labour Party



Liberal Democratic Party

Liberal Democratic Party

cognitiveSEO Backlink Explorer - Liberal Democratic Party


United Kingdom Independence Party

United Kingdom Independence Party

cognitiveSEO Backlink Explorer - United Kingdom Independence Party


Green Party

Green Party

cognitiveSEO Backlink Explorer - Green Party


Scottish National Party

Scottish National Party

cognitiveSEO Backlink Explorer - Scottish National Party


Plaid Cymru – Party of Wales

Plaid Cymru – Party of Wales


cognitiveSEO Backlink Explorer - Plaid Cymru – Party of Wales



Ranked by number of backlinks:

  1. Conservative Party 2 Million
  2. Liberal Democratic Party 1 Million
  3. United Kingdom Independence Party 524,369
  4. Labour Party 421,076
  5. Scottish National Party 361,061
  6. Green Party 135,656
  7. Plaid Cymru – Party of Wales N/A


Some interesting points:

Labour Party have a lower number of backlinks than I would have expected for a party their size.


UKIP have a huge amount of links, even beating the Labour Party. This may highlight the media fascination with UKIP rather than their appeal to the voters, as they only have 2 MPs whom only exist as they defected from the Conservative Party.


The Green Party also have a lower amount of backlinks than I expected as their media appeal is quite high. Although it has been said by others that their online marketing and ability to put together an effective campaign may have influenced this.


The Party of Wales did not bring back any data. Not sure why this is the case, they may be blocking bots or they may have such a small data set that they haven’t registered on the dial. I don’t know.


Social Signals


Conservative Party

 Social Visibility - Conservative Party

Labour Party

 Social Visibility - Labour Party

Liberal Democratic Party

 Social Visibility - Liberal Democratic Party

United Kingdom Independence Party

 Social Visibility - United Kingdom Independence Party

Scottish National Party

 Social Visibility - Scottish National Party

Green Party

 Social Visibility - Green Party

Plaid Cymru



Some interesting points


I had to recheck the data for the Conservative Facebook result a few times and although the official Facebook page for the Conservative Party has 363,736, it looks like the homepage of the Conservative Party has only been liked on Facebook, 400 times. We can hypothesize why this would be the case, but that is all it would be. It may be that the website design has simply not enabled people to give it a quick thumbs up, rather the Facebook icon displayed sends the web reader to the Facebook page of the party, which then can be liked. Is this data significant on its own, probably not and may be more about the way the website UX has been arranged. I will leave it open to interpretation about why the Facebook number is so odd.


Ukip also have an odd number, over 20k, they have a like button on their front page, but again it’s to like the Facebook page, rather than like the home page of the website.


Liberal Democrats win the Google+ award, I don’t know whether that’s such a good thing due to the perception that Google+ has?

The Green party have a very poor showing on social media, perhaps this is because they are busy outside looking at the trees. The Tories come second to last in the Tweet off, with only the Greens coming behind them. Does this all mean social media likes to lean to the left.

Does anyone in the Green Party use smartphones or computers?

Let’s look at link velocity, which is the new links/referring domains since the existence of the party’s website and one chart from the last 12 months. It can help give a snapshot of what is happening now as opposed to what was historically happening.


Link Velocity


Conservative Party

 Link Velocity - Conservative Party

Labour Party

 Link Velocity - Labour Party

Liberal Democrat Party

 Link Velocity - Liberal Democrat Party

United Kingdom Independence Party

 Link Velocity - United Kingdom Independence Party

Green Party

 Link Velocity - Green Party


 Link Velocity - SNP

Things to notice:


The Conservatives are generally stable with a few spikes. Tricky to analyse why the spikes are happening, February saw a controversial Black and White ball where people could pay to get access to Tory MPs, but it is not definitive and would take a lot more analysis to pin down.


Interesting to note that the last 30 days has seen a decline of new links for Conservatives.


Labour has had a good increase over the past 90 days, except for the past 15 days where new links have dropped off considerably. Lib Dems also tailing off in the same fashion.


The Green Party conversely have had a boost the past 15 days. This may be due to them snagging a place on the debate on April 2nd, and if will be interesting to revisit these numbers after the debate.


The SNP link velocity has had a similar range over the past 6 years, with quite extreme peaks and toughs, presumably due to news about the separation of Scotland from the rest of the UK.


Very important to point out that this data is very open to interpretation. Which makes it more interesting to pour over and analyse.


Things of note about the backlinks:

As the list of backlinks are massive. What is interesting are the top links listed came from some very “telling” websites. I pick out a few interesting top links.


Conservative Party

Backlinks - Conservative Party

Bloomberg.com, the business publisher is the number one backlink for the Tory Party.


Labour Party

Backlinks - Labour Party


The BBC is often accused of having a left wing bias, and yet here is, 2nd in the list of backlinks to the Labour Party.


Liberal Democratic Party

Backlinks - Liberal Democratic Party

The perception of a lot of people, sees the Lib Dems and a bunch of teachers and social workers, and yet here we see in at number 2, the Guardian, which is pretty much the bible for teachers and social workers. So far the ideology of the party is being reflected in the most powerful of the top links.


United Kingdom Independence Party

Backlinks - United Kingdom Independence Party


The second most powerful link to UKIP is from tabacco.org I’m not even share what I think of this one, just going to let it hang there and let you interpret the data.


Scottish National Party

Backlinks - Scottish National Party


Top 5th link for the SNP, not Shortbread magazine, but Greenpeace. Again, make of that what you will. But the SNP have said that voters in England should vote for the Green Party.


Green Party

Backlinks - Green Party


Huffpo in the UK has a left wing bias, and likes to position itself with the activist crowd. Pretty much anti UKIP, so you wouldn’t be surprised to find that the 2nd link to the Greens come from the Huffington Post.



So does this tell us who to bet for in the upcoming UK General Election on May the 7th, 2015?


I’m not sure it adds anything to that conversation, but it has certainly thrown up some very interesting data. Such as how much chatter has been created around UKIP in the form of links and social signals. I was one of those who was intrigued why UKIP was getting so much more media attention than the Greens, the data may indicate why this was the case.


The anomaly over the Tory Party Facebook page may be an important lesson of how to structure your web page in relation to Facebook likes.

We could, I am sure create another analysis on each parties Facebook page.


Very surprised at the poor showing of the Green Party on social media. As those one social media seem to be sympathetic to the environment and they do post a lot of cat and dog pictures, even though the average dog has a larger carbon footprint than a Range Rover, but let’s not get into that just now.

UKIP do create a lot of heat. Do they have a savvy, slick media operation? Is there website geared up to suck in links and social signals, it’s definitely worth analysing more.


Hope you enjoyed the digging into the data and if you have a different take of any of what I have said, please make a comment.

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