Us politicians like to think that what we do is grabbing the attention of the masses. We kid ourselves that people are actually interested in out rants, ramblings and petty spats. The truth is that people aren't interested - only about 1% of the population joins a political party and perhaps less than 10% is actually interested in politics.
An illustration of this comes from election news aggregator, Electionista, who tweeted the top seven most followed political parties in Europe:
Most followed parties in the EU: 1. @mov5stelle 2. @PPopular 3. @PSOE 4. @UKLabour 5. @EELV 6. @pdnetwork 7. @conservatives #EP2014What is interesting here isn't the order but the number of followers - the 'Five Star' movement in Italy is the most followed with 270,000 followers, not surprising for a web-savvy populist movement. For the UK, the two big parties have far fewer - 125,000 for Labour and 104,000 for the Conservatives. To put this in a bit of context here are the seven most followed premier league football teams:
— electionista (@electionista) March 5, 2014
Arsenal 3.56mChelsea 3.46mLiverpool 2.40mMan United 2.01mMan City 1.55mSpurs 775kEverton 376k
Only two premier league teams have fewer followers than the Conservatives (Crystal Palace and Hull since you ask) add Cardiff City and you have the three teams with fewer followers than Labour. This might not be an entirely fair comparison but it does suggest politics has something of a problem. Or maybe we are a mature enough society not to be all that fussed about the antics of us politicians?