Scotland’s referendum has fueled an enormous outpouring of activity on social media. Much of the Twitter activity is centered around Edinburgh and Glasgow, the two largest cities. Outside the UK, users in the U.S. and Spain, which faces its own separatist movement in Catalonia, were the most involved. There are 8.6 million people in America with Scottish roots, and 1.7 million of them identify themselves as 100 percent Scottish. Below are some visualizations of how the referendum has played out on Twitter. These are tweets “mentioning key terms, Twitter accounts and hashtags associated with Yes and No campaigns” as they went out over the last month through Wednesday, according to Trendsmap:
Londoners have also been active in the Twitter realm. Unsurprisingly, the majority of tweets from around London are in support of Scotland staying with the UK. Tweeters in Liverpool and Manchester, in northern England, were also active with what appears to be a slight majority in favor of Scotland staying in the UK.
The major spike on Aug. 26 was sparked by the televised debate between independence leader and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and pro-union leader MP Alistair Darling. A series of polls between Sept. 10 and voting day showing the independence movement gaining steam amongst Scots led to a visible increase in activity as well.
Spain is particularly interested in the Scottish referendum because of its own separatist issue in Catalonia. Catalonia is a region in the northeast of Spain where the regional government and what appears to be a majority of people want to secede from the country. The Spanish government has repeatedly refused to recognize any sort of referendum vote. A number of Catalans have even traveled to support the "Yes" campaign in Scotland.
Trendsmap’s visuals of activity throughout Thursday suggest the independence campaign has been significantly stronger on social media, particularly in Scotland itself. That data coincides with Twitter’s own numbers on the growth of support for each campaign’s official Twitter accounts. @YesScotland has more than doubled its followers since June 1 from around 45,000 to over 105,000 by referendum day.
Another Trendsmap visual tracking activity between Sept. 11, when the first polls showed the Yes campaign with a lead, and Thursday can be seen here.
The Better Together campaign appeared to have a strong victory locked in up through August, but the playing field has largely leveled since then. @UK_Together has nearly doubled since June as well, but from 23,000 followers to over 42,000 followers, less than half of @YesScotland’s following.