School of Business and Economics


7 May 2015

VoteBEE app in the last few hours of data collection


VoteBee - a mobile app that uses the Emotive Engine developed from research at the Centre for Information Management – is in its final day of analysing hundreds and thousands of tweets to assess the emotions surrounding today’s UK General Election.

Designed by Professor Tom Jackson and Dr Martin Sykora, VoteBEE analyses tweets in real time in order to identify fine-grained emotion so it can assess the public’s opinion of the political parties and their leaders throughout the campaign.

Tom Jackson said:

“Tracking emotional outpour accurately in (near) real-time and at a fine granularity is a challenge for most analytics tools. For the General Election, we developed a new app called VoteBEE using the EMOTIVE engine.  It can analyse thousands of tweets a second to extract from each tweet a direct expression of one of eight basic emotions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, shame and confusion.

“Today (May 7th), the last day of campaigning, shook up the emotions of the general public. Throughout the whole campaign, similar sized emotions have been invoked by the top two campaigners, Cameron and Miliband, but the last few hours of May 7th really changed the dynamics.”

charts showing the emotions of the 3 main political candidates

Throughout the Campaign


‌ ‌three charts showing the emotions surrounding the political leaders on the final day of the campaign

Last day of the Campaign

key: red=anger * amber=confusion / pink=disgust / dark green=fear / yellow=happiness / dark blue=sadness / light green=shame / light blue=surprise

Throughout the campaign, Miliband elicited a steady wave of anger (red) from the Twittersphere, and both the Conservatives and Labour generated fear (dark green).

VoteBEE data found that the emotions surrounding the Conservative campaign when contrasted to the emotions from the Scottish Independence Referendum data (also collected by VoteBEE) suggest that the Tories are currently winning the election campaign, but the emotions have been shifting quite a bit in the last 24 hours with an increase in happiness surrounding the Labour leader.

 “With the emotions almost changing minute-by-minute,” said Tom, “it is an exciting campaign to watch.”

VoteBEE can be downloaded for free from:

Acknowledgements: It was developed by scientists at the Centre for Information Management (Professor Tom Jackson, Dr Martin Sykora, Dr Suzanne Elayan, Dr Ann O’Brien) at Loughborough University and funded by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.