London Eye lit by Facebook election chat

London Eye lit by Facebook election chat
The London Eye overlooking the River Thames is lit in colours representing the different political parties vying for support in the UK general election to reflect the amount each party is discussed on Facebook.

LONDON - The London Eye tourist attraction was lit up Saturday in party political colours reflecting the amount of social media interactions about them on Facebook.

The giant observation wheel overlooking the Houses of Parliament on the other side of the River Thames is being lit up this way every night in the run-up to Thursday's general election.

The more a political party crops up in people's interaction on Facebook, the bigger a portion of the ring gets lit up in that party's colours.

An interaction is calculated as either a like, share or comment, such as a post or replied post on the social networking site.

Between January 1 and May 1, the anti-immigration United Kingdom Independence Party (purple) was the most-discussed party, with 15.6 million interactions and three million people talking about UKIP.

Prime Minister David Cameron's centre-right Conservatives (blue) were the second most talked-about party with 12.2 million interactions from 2.5 million people.

Then came the centre-left main opposition Labour Party (red) on 9.7 million interactions.

They were followed by the centrist Liberal Democrats (orange-yellow) - the junior partners in the governing coalition - and the left-wing secessionist Scottish National Party (yellow), both on two million.

The left-wing Green Party (green) were on 1.3 million.

Friday night was the first day of a week-long display to bring the online election conversation to life within view of parliament.

"Politics is huge on Facebook - we expect it to be the most-discussed topic in the UK this year," said Elizabeth Linder, Facebook's politics and government specialist for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"We've seen over 52 million interactions related to the general election so far this year." The social media data can be compared with the latest BBC poll of polls, which shows the main two parties neck and neck, with neither thought likely to win a majority.

The Conservatives were on 34 per cent; Labour 33 per cent; UKIP 13 per cent; the Lib Dems eight per cent; the Greens five per cent, and others combined six per cent.

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