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On Twitter: what does your MP do?

Orfhlaith Begley has sent thousands of tweets since setting up her account, analysis of her online activity reveals.

The logo of social networking website Twitter is seen displayed on the screen of an iPhone smartphone.
The logo of social networking website Twitter is seen displayed on the screen of an iPhone smartphone.

Orfhlaith Begley has sent thousands of tweets since setting up her account, analysis of her online activity reveals.

Looking at the work of our politicians, we take a look at how active the Sinn F�in MP for West Tyrone is on the social media platform.

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Analysis of Orfhlaith Begley's Twitter account (@OrfhlaithBegley) by Motive PR shows she had sent around 2,300 tweets between first joining the website on November 1 2011 and March 29 this year.

It means the 30-year-old sends an average of less than one tweet per day – putting out just 18 per month.

However, Ms Begley has had this account since before she was elected to the seat – on May 3 2018.

The average MP that has an account sends 3.5 tweets per day, but around one in 10 representatives did not have one at the time the research was done.

Labour MP Karl Turner is the most prolific Tweeter – sending an average of 26.1 per day for 12 years.

The roughly 600 MPs with accounts had sent almost 8 million tweets between them by the end of March.

But Motive said they found little correlation between the number of tweets and retweets an MP sent, and the number of followers they have.

Despite his steady output, Mr Turner has fewer than 41,000 followers – below the average of 54,300 for MPs with accounts.

And though he has tweeted fewer than 6,000 times, Boris Johnson's account is followed by 4.1 million people.

The Prime Minister is one of just four MPs with more than a million followers – ahead of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (2.4 million), current Labour leader Keir Starmer (1.2 million) and ex-PM Theresa May (1 million).

Orfhlaith Begley, who serves as a backbench MP, had around 8,100 followers by the end of March.

Of parties with at least 10 members, Labour was reaching the largest section of the electorate – with an average of 63,500 followers each.

Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party's 45 members averaged just 29,300 each.

Despite not taking their seats in the Commons due to their abstentionist policy, Sinn Fein MPs have tweeted almost 80,000 times from their official accounts.