Theresa May’s Snap General Election –…

Theresa May’s Snap General Election – What Happened Online

On the 18th April, Theresa May called for a snap general election, which will take place on the 8th June. The decision has not only surprised Westminster, but also the general UK population.

Using Hitwise’s data, here are the key headlines from the day’s online activity:

1/ On the 18th April, 3 out of the top 5 searches related to the snap general election.

Interestingly, Ghanian entrepreneur Esther Afua Ocloo was the top searched-for term, as she was featured in Google Doodle.

2/ 6 out of the top 15 searches around the “snap election” were also questions.

This suggests that people are researching in advance and want to be informed before they vote (potentially a learning curve after the EU referendum).

3/ Searches for “Theresa May” increased by over 2000% in the News & Media Print sites, compared to the last two weeks. The search term “Theresa May approval rating” also re-appeared over this period, which will likely be closely monitored over the next 6 weeks.

4/ The Guardian won the majority of traffic from search terms, such as “general election” and “Theresa May”.

5/ Zooming into the Top Print News Sites, The Guardian picked up their “general election” coverage from approximately 1pm onwards.

6/ When we isolate this coverage down to article level, the Daily Mail’s article “Theresa calls General Election June 8” actually ranked higher than The Guardian.

The difference was that the Guardian released more articles and opinion pieces related to the general election as the day progressed, at a total of 14 articles compared to the Daily Mail’s 5 articles (tracked in their headlines).

Key Takeaway for Publishers

Search is undeniably one of the most powerful tools to understand consumer intent.

For the next 6 weeks until the general election, closely monitor fast moving search terms to inform your own content strategy. Within these identified terms, such as “snap election”, track search variations and replicate high searched-for / high organic terms to improve your click through.

All eyes will also be on the media as events unfolds in these critical weeks. Understand who is getting traffic from key search terms, which articles are being consumed at which hours and respond effectively with your own content.


For more insights into content and search strategies for the news industry, click on the following report link. For more information on how Hitwise can support your election coverage, please contact us here.

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