Real-time performance poll will gauge voters' view of political debates


Real-time performance poll will gauge voters' view of political debates

Rebecca Thomson

Real-time updates of the party leaders' popularity will be broadcast on Sky News during the live televised debates, in an attempt to get an immediate response to each leader's performance and gauge their success.

Sky News has a panel of 6,000 voters it will be texting questions to during the live broadcast. The responses they send back will be automatically collated to power a "live analysis widget" on and production graphics on Sky News.

John Ryley, head of Sky News, said: "This service will give Sky News the edge on accurate reporting of the leaders' debates using insight direct from the people who matter - the voters. The results will provide an unrivalled level of real-time insight into how the voters are reacting towards the three leaders."

The 6,000 voters were chosen from across different age, gender and geographical groups. Their SMS responses will be collated using analytical software from Fizzback. An artificial intelligence engine will break down the comments into policy and personality elements, showing how the voters react to different elements of Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg and David Cameron's performances.

Sky News is also working with research agency Futuresight on the project. The three leaders' debates are likely to start this Thursday, 15 April, and will be held each Thursday until polling day on 6 May.

Photos: Rex Features

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