The ten best (and worst) MPs on Twitter
Welcome to our semi-regular survey of the ten best and worst MPs on Twitter.
There's been a slight improvement since last year, but generally speaking the better MPs have stayed in the upper echelons and the worst have remained at the bottom of the pile.
We would have expected a more significant improvement from parliamentarians, but in truth very few of them are taking a page out of the book of their more accomplished colleagues.
Many MPs will never have the writing style or the easy manner which helps make a great Twitter account. But there is a depressing resistance to engagement from MPs. Countless parliamentarians use their stream to promote their own work, but pay scant attention to their followers.
There is another depressing development in the form of Lynton Crosby. Since the Australian election strategist tried to get rebellious Tory MPs to play from the same hymn sheet on Twitter, a curse has befallen many Conservative accounts. With all the subtlety of whips' questions in PMQs, many Tory accounts are now regurgitated lines from party briefing sheets. This is most notable in the fact every Tory MP on Twitter recently sent out a message branded Ed Miliband as 'weak'. It's an uninspiring development, as the more boring practices in the Commons makes their way online.
The Tory performance in general is disappointing, particularly given how interesting and rebellious the 2010 intake has proven to be. With some honourable exceptions, very little of the colour and noise of the parliament Conservative party has made its way onto Twitter.
Labour is over-represented in the list. This could be a function of opposition, or it could be that Labour MPs, who typically represent more urban areas, are more likely to experiment with new technology.
We gave higher marks to those MPs who used Twitter for campaigning as well as commentary. This sometimes takes the form of low-level organisation or a relentless focus from front benchers. But overall, the use of Twitter to further political goals is still fairly limited in parliament.