Wmatrix corpus analysis of UK General Election Manifestos

Analysis of earlier UK General Election Manifestos

The 2005 UK General Election Manifestos were analysed in the online tutorials for Wmatrix showing the comparison of the Liberal Democrats and Labour Party Manifestos. Further examples of the application to the 2010 general election manifestos can be seen on my blog. The plain text versions of the 2010 UK election manifestos can be downloaded for use in your favourite text analysis software (with thanks to Martin Wynne for editing two of the files). TEI encoded versions of the 2010 election manifestos are now available (with thanks to Lou Burnard). The analysis of seven manifestos for 2015, 2017, and 2019 are also available. The recent manifesto files are also available on GitHub.

Analysis of 2024 UK General Election Manifestos

In the following table, each manifesto will be presented along with a set of corpus analyses.

In addition, when all the manifestos are published you will be able to download crosstabs of word, POS and semantic tag frequencies with log-likelihood and dispersion statistics. These are tab delimited so can be opened in your favourite spreadsheet application.

Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats Green Party Plaid Cymru Scottish National Party Reform UK
Party website www.conservatives.com labour.org.uk www.libdems.org.uk greenparty.org.uk www.plaid.cymru www.snp.org www.reformparty.uk
Launch date 11 June 2024 13 June 2024 10 June 2024 12 June 2024 13 June 2024 19 June 2024 17 June 2024
Edited text version TXT TXT TXT TXT TXT TXT TXT
Number of words (tokens) 25,305 23,809 21,366 19,009 16,639 7,776 6,701
Number of unique words (types) 4,469 4,078 3,924 3,646 3,255 1,832 1,869
Word frequency list TXT TXT TXT TXT TXT TXT TXT
Key word cloud Figure 1 Figure 3 Figure 5 Figure 7 Figure 9 Figure 11 Figure 13
Key semantic tag cloud Figure 2 Figure 4 Figure 6 Figure 8 Figure 10 Figure 12 Figure 14

As in previous elections, I will make local copies of manifestos available since they often disappear offline after the election. To prepare the text versions, I will use Adobe Reader to save as text and then manually edit (using VS Code) a small number of items such as headers, footers and page numbers to store them in pseudo-XML-style tags. In addition, I will follow the input format guidelines for CLAWS and convert n-dashes, pound signs, begin and end quotes to XML entities.

1. The choice of which parties to cover is again based on those appearing in the BBC election debates and Newscast leaders and manifesto coverage.
2. For Labour, I used the large print PDF version (local copy PDF) because the standard PDF couldn't be converted to txt by Adobe Acrobat Reader

A note on word counts: Wmatrix counts semantically meaningful multiword expressions (MWEs) as one item, so other corpus software may well provide different counts here. These figures also depend on tokenisation in our NLP pipeline (by CLAWS).

Word frequency lists are tab delimited so you can load them in to your favourite spreadsheet program. MWEs are shown in the word frequency lists as words connected by underscore characters.

Key word and semantic tag clouds are produced by comparing the data with the BNC Written Sampler corpus. The larger the font, the higher the log-likelihood score, so larger items are more significantly overused compared to the reference corpus. See the Wmatrix main page and online tutorials if you want more details about how this works.

Figure 1: Conservatives Key Word Cloud

Figure 2: Conservatives Key Semantic Tag Cloud

Figure 3: Labour Key Word Cloud

Figure 4: Labour Key Semantic Tag Cloud

Figure 5: Liberal Democrats Key Word Cloud

Figure 6: Liberal Democrats Key Semantic Tag Cloud

Figure 7: Green Key Word Cloud

Figure 8: Green Key Semantic Tag Cloud

Figure 9: Plaid Cymru Key Word Cloud

Figure 10: Plaid Cymru Key Semantic Tag Cloud

Figure 11: SNP Key Word Cloud

Figure 12: SNP Key Semantic Tag Cloud

Figure 13: Reform UK Party Key Word Cloud

Figure 14: Reform UK Party Key Semantic Tag Cloud