Sturgeon's Twitter Followers Surge

18 December 2014, 10:25 | Updated: 18 December 2014, 10:31

Nicola Sturgeon's followers on Twitter have more than tripled this year, according to a social network monitor.

The First Minister has 107,340 followers, up from 34,516 at the beginning of the year, Yatterbox said.

Ms Sturgeon still trails behind her predecessor Alex Salmond, whose followers more than doubled from 52,155 to 134,202.

She has over four times as many followers as new Labour leader Jim Murphy, whose followers have increased from 18,661 to 29,618.

Conservative leader Ruth Davidson's followers have more than doubled from 5,902 to 14,901, while Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie's followers have risen from 4,188 to 5,405.

Ms Sturgeon is also the most prolific party leader with 2,600 tweets so far, followed by Ms Davidson on 2,279, Mr Murphy on 1,433 and Mr Rennie on 466.

The Twitter page for Yes Scotland increased from 37,982 followers in April to 100,901 followers by the referendum on September 18, over twice as many followers of Better Together which rose from 21,191 to 42,701.

David Cameron's followers have grown from 554,686 to 859,780, Ed Miliband has risen from 278,463 to 363,953 and Nick Clegg's followers have grown from 143,502 to 199,478.

Yatterbox's head of product Ben Carson said: "Twitter is fast becoming one of the most important tools for politicians and parties to communicate and engage with the public. The data shows a higher take-up of Twitter in Holyrood compared to Westminster, with well over 80% of MSPs using Twitter.

"The numbers show the SNP seem to have a strong social media strategy in force and it will be interesting to see whether the other parties and leaders will be able to catch up ahead of next year's general election.''