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Twitter gains election coverage vote

The general election has thrown us quite a few curve balls over the night but it was Twitter that kept many of us up to date through the wee hours.

Jennifer Scott

COMMENT: It was politics that actually turned me into a Twitter convert - or addict if truth be told - in the first place.

I remember the first time I used it whilst watching along with Question Time. It was awesome to see what everyone else thought about the politicians on the TV and to see how passionate and irate people got.

But last night was something different. It was no longer just about voicing your opinion but also a great way to keep up to date with everything going on.

Those who tweeted through the night all seemed to take on the responsibility of sharing the news who got in where, how much by, what the total votes were, what the likely outcomes could be etc rather than depending on dedicated news feeds.

Yes, there may have been plenty on the TV and radio that could have provided this, but Twitter seemed to be the new medium of choice, adding personal touches to incoming information and gauging instant reactions from the comfort of your smartphone or laptop.

I think what made it so enthralling to keep track of was that mixture of general public involvement, official news feeds and also the celebrities, hotfooting around all the election parties and news channels, giving us that extra bit of insight.

But that's the point of Twitter, all of us were on an equal platform, each with our 140 characters to share what we thought was important in one of the most closely fought elections in decades.

It didn't matter whether you were a correspondent for the BBC, writer of a critically acclaimed political satire or average Joe who exercised their right to vote, there was equal billing and equal rights to say what you think.

It is a shame that our current electoral system of "first past the post" doesn't allow for something quite so fair, but we will see if that changes and, of course, what the final result will be over the next few hours and days through news, radio and, naturally, Twitter.

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