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Twitterendum: who's winning the indyref debate on social media?

As the clock ticks down towards the independence referendum, our Twitterendum shows how the pro-Yes camp is winning the debate on social media.

The Twitterendum, our unique take on the election swingometer gives real time information on whether the Yes or No campaigns are gaining more traction on Twitter by monitoring a selection of keywords related to the debate such as "#BetterTogether" and "#VoteYes".

Launched on HeraldScotland.com in March in partnership with digital agency Equator, the Twitterendum has been viewed 20,000 times.

It has registered a total of 647,036 tweets related to the referendum so far, of those, 527,037 tweets were in favour of Yes and 119,999 for No. That's 81 per cent in favour and 19 per cent against independence.

The biggest swing in favour of Yes (90%) was on May 4 when the Sunday Herald became the first Scottish newspaper to come out in support of independence.

Anti-independence tweets reached a record high of 30% on June 11 when it was reported that JK Rowling had donated £1m to the Better Together campaign.

John McLeish, managing director of Equator, the digital agency that created the Twitterendum, said: "The Twitterendum does not provide an accurate prediction on the likely outcome of the vote on September 18, but it does illustrate who is most active and asserting the most authority on Twitter.

"Twitter and other social channels are now vital communications tools for politicians and political influencers across the globe and it is clear from this analysis that the SNP and wider independence supporters have harnessed social media far more effectively than No campaigners.

"The Twitterendum data also gives fascinating insight into the influence that the media and celebrities have on voting preferences and opinions. We saw bigger swings on the back of public declarations of support than on the back of any policy announcements or research.

"It will be interesting to see how the Twitterendum data develops as we enter the final push of campaigning.

"Only the outcome of the vote will determine whether the Yes campaign is truly winning the social debate or is simply more effective at creating noise."

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