Polecat in the Financial Times: Social media signalled trump win in us election

22nd November 2016


  • We used MeaningMine to analyse the volume of social media postings about Trump and Clinton in the run up to the US election
  • The volume of postings turned out to be a better indicator of the election result than mainstream polling
  • Polecat is excited to showcase our abilities in big data analysis in today’s issue of the FT


Polecat’s award winning technology interrogates global conversations online and in social media with over 7,000 keywords associated with 270 risk topics, such as inequality, unemployment, harassment, corruption and climate change.

We used this filter to look at social media conversation about Trump and Clinton in the seven days prior to the US election. Our results show Trump capturing some 58% of social media conversation against Clinton’s 42%. Conversation about Trump outpaces Clinton as early as 4 November and trends upwards sharply on 7th November when conversation about Clinton goes into sharp decline. At the time, mainstream polling gave Clinton a comfortable lead.

Significantly, social media topics driving the uplift in conversation about Trump relate directly to his campaign themes of Make American Great Again (#MAGA), Draintheswamp#, Trumptrain# and Trump2016#, signalling a desire by swathes of electorate for change in Washington.

Bronwyn Kunhardt, co-founder and Global MD of Polecat said:

‘We didn’t design our solution to look at election results. We designed our solution to help companies understand global conversations about risk and the significance for their strategy and operations. We applied our lens to the US elections out of curiosity and were fascinated to see the Trump trajectory so clearly visible when our risk focus cuts through the everyday noise. We have spent years developing our risk taxonomy and it’s exciting to see the insight it can yield, particularly where pollsters failed. We’re thrilled for the visualisation to make the front page of the Financial Times.’