Most-shared general election stories on social media overwhelmingly anti-Tory with no sign yet of fake news

The most shared news stories about the general election on social media appear to be overwhelmingly anti-Tory with the Independent claiming the highest number of shares of any title.

Of the top 20 most-shared stories on the UK general election over the past month (according to web analysts Buzzsumo) – since a snap election was called on 18 April – nine are either pro-Labour or anti-Tory, while the remaining 11 are politically neutral.

Not one pro-Tory article appears in the top 20. There were also no examples of fake news in the top 100 results, although satirical website the Daily Mash and pro-Brexit blog site Your Brexit do feature.

Press Gazette defines fake news as articles which are deliberately and misleadingly fabricated for political and/or financial gain.

Press Gazette looked at data from BuzzSumo for the most shared UK articles on social media that contained a reference to “general election”. We then made our own assessment of the political leaning of the story.

The two most-shared stories of the last month were published by The Independent last week, with both having a pro-Labour/anti-Tory bent.

The most shared story is headlined: “Labour will scrap university tuition fees if they win general election,” has a total of 59,000 shares across all five major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+). It is also the most shared Facebook story.

The second most shared story overall is an opinion piece for Indy Voices, urging young voters to register to vote headlined: “Young people, here’s what no one is telling you about the general election: you could swing it.” It has a total of 44,000 shares.

Facebook is by far the most dominant platform for social media shares, with Twitter second.

Number of total shares on Twitter and Facebook by political bent (top 20 most-shared stories featuring ‘general election’, source: Buzzsumo Source: BuzzSumo

The most shared story on Twitter over the past month is by the BBC and headlined: “Snap election approved by MPs.”

The Independent appears five times in the top 20 with a total of 183,800 shares. The BBC also appears five times with a total of 162,900 shares. The i comes third with 82,400 shares across three stories.

The HuffPost appears twice in the top 20, Metro once and satirical website the Daily Mash also once.

Within the top 100 most shared stories on the UK general election, the Independent claims 554,200 total shares and the BBC 450,800 shares.

The figures provide a contrast to the national print media which is predominantly right-wing.

Top 20 most shared stories on social media about the UK general election (source: Buzzsumo):

Headline Publication Facebook shares Twitter shares Total shares Political analysis
1 Labour will scrap university tuition fees if they win general election The Independent 46.7k 12.6k 59.4k pro-Labour/ anti-Tory
2 Young people, here’s what no one is telling you about the general election: you could swing it The independent 41.8k 1.7k 43.6k pro-Labour/ anti-Tory
3 Snap election approved by MPs BBC 20.2k 22.3k 43k neutral
4 Theresa May to seek general election on 8 June BBC 29.9k 8.9k 40.3k neutral
5 BBC And ITV To Defy Theresa May And Hold General Election 2017 TV Debates Anyway HuffPost 34.2k 911 35.1k neutral
6 Dennis Skinner: Theresa May called an election because of Tory fraud investigation i 32.4k 1.5k 33.9k pro-Labour/ anti-Tory
7 General election 2017: Labour wants four new bank holidays BBC 31.8k 1.6k 33.5k pro-Labour/ anti-Tory
8 Jeremy Corbyn: Instead of a country run for the rich we want richer lives for everyone Mirror 25.7k 5k 30.7k pro-Labour/ anti-Tory
9 General election 2017: Labour gains again in new poll as Tory lead narrows The Independent 28.8k 879 29.7k neutral
10 ‘More politics? How absolutely f**king fantastic’, says Britain Daily Mash 26.6k 560 27.2k neutral
11 Why should I not vote Conservative? 29 nasty policies you shouldn’t forget in the 2017 general election Mirror 23.5k 3.2k 26.7k pro-Labour/ anti-Tory
12 Green Party calls for talks with Labour and Lib Dem leaderships over anti-Tory alliance The Independent 24.7k 1.7k 26.4k neutral
13 General election 2017: UKIP manifesto to pledge a burka ban BBC 23.7k 1.7k 25.4k neutral
14 How Tim Farron, Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn voted on women’s issues i 22.9k 2.2k 25.1k neutral
15 Conservatives lead over Labour cut by seven points ahead of general election, latest poll shows The Independent 23.4k 1.3k 24.7k neutral
16 In three days more than 100,000 young people register to vote i 22.9k 491 23.4k neutral
17 Tactical Voting Spreadsheet ‘How To Stop The Tories’ In The General Election Gets Shared Far And Wide HuffPost 21.6k 298 22k pro-Labour/ anti-Tory
18 Surge in bets for Jeremy Corbyn to be the next prime minister Metro 20.5k 704 21.2k pro-Labour/ anti-Tory
19 The faces Jeremy Corbyn pulled while reading these kids a story just made this whole election worthwhile Mirror 19.7k 1.3k 20.9k pro-Labour/ anti-Tory
20 General election 2017: Labour manifesto draft leaked BBC 17.5k 3k 20.7k neutral