According to TweetyHall of the councillors who communicate with their residents via Twitter there are 35% who are Conservatives, 33% Lib Dems and 29% Labour. On the other hand given that we have far more councillors than the Lib Dems they clearly have a higher ratio of their councillors Twittering. TweetyHall says 333 councillors use Twitter – modest given that two thirds of their electorates are using "social media" of one sort of another
Local Government Leadership have published a report, Lessons from Election 2010: Local politics and social media.
The Conservative councillors quoted concede the limits.
Cllr Dean Russell, of St Albans District Council, says:
“I wrote a series of ‘canvassing questions’, responding to the unusual or interesting questions I got on the doorstep. I used twitter to let people know when I’d written an article and to find out what other people were talking about during the campaign.
“I do think it’s important to remember the context of social media. However much I extol the virtues of social media during the election, it was clear to me during my campaign that elections are won by knocking on doors and meeting people face to face. I’m not sure how many voters were swayed by my tweets. There are still a huge number of people who are not online. So while it’s an important channel, we mustn’t lose sight of holding surgeries and other ways of meeting with people offline. At the end of the day, twitter and tools like it need to benefit the people we represent, and not be used for self-promotion.”
Cllr Richard Stay, the Deputy Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, says:
I know my place. I’m not seeking to compete with Guido Fawkes or ConservativeHome when I share
my topical views on local and national political issues in the blog.
Too modest, Cllr Stay. Your excellent blog is of much wider interest than you imply.