TDs that tweet

An infographic based on original research by @_eamonnbell

See Notes below for updates

This infographic highlights some facts about the usage of Twitter by TDs (members of the lower house of parliament in the Republic of Ireland) in the last 6 months. It goes beyond previously published figures such as those mentioned in a article last year.

The author has no formal political affiliation, just an interest in number crunching. For more information please do not hesitate to contact me on Twitter. It's free to share as is so long as it's for non-commercial use and authorship is always attributed, though I would request that you let me know if you plan on giving it wide distribution.

I do not aim to explain the figures, just present them. If you would like the raw data, please get in touch. However, the Twitter Terms of Use restricts the use and redistribution of aggregate data collected using its APIs, so I may not be able to help you out.


PNG version of TDs that Tweet (click for full-size here)

TDs that tweet infographic by @_eamonnbell


Using a list of TDs with Twitter accounts from 2012 already made available by Murray Consultants and a Twitter list of users by @suzybie, a new list of TDs with Twitter accounts was compiled (see Files below for PDF). An excellent tool called Tabula was used to extract tabular data from PDFs.

This was checked against the list of members available at Any member who did not appear on the Twitter list was researched by hand (Google) and added to the list if they had a Twitter account that was clearly operated by themselves. At this stage, constituency data and party affiliation as recorded by was added to the list of TDs (See Notes below).

On 22 July 2013, Tweepy, a Python wrapper for the Twitter API, was used to collate and query the last 3200 tweets of each TD on the list. This was stored in an SQLite3 database for further local use and joined with the TD data from the various sources above. Tweets from before 1 January 2013 were excluded. Hashtag data was extracted from the local database table and stored in a separate many-to-many table for separate use.

On 30 July 2013 user data for each TD was collected and aggregated (see table below, once again using Tweepy and the new list of TDs).

All this data and this data alone went into the creation of the graphic in LibreOffice Draw.



Updated 30 July 2013