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Lib Dems rise to top of Facebook fan rankings

LONDON - A new measure of political Facebook fandom ranks Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats ahead of their political rivals.

Nick Clegg: more Facebook fans than other parties

Nick Clegg: more Facebook fans than other parties

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The data released by used the API from Facebook Connect to track politicians' popularity from the date the general election was announced on 6 April.

Nick Clegg has experienced a fanbase growth of 970%, climbing from 4,531 fans to 43,963 on 24 April.

The popularity of the Liberal Democrats also grew from 10,727 fans to 64,430, a 601% increase since records started.

Clegg's rise in popularity is in part a reaction to the first televised election debate on ITV, which attracted 9.5 million viewers and sparked a frenzy in online chatter.

David Cameron's popularity has risen 157%, growing from 18,930 to 29,782 fans, with the Conservative's popularity doubling from 30,027 to 63,766 fans, just behind the Liberal Democrats.

According to a Marketing poll, the Conservatives have the lead in terms of the effectiveness of their advertising initiatives. During the general election campaign, the Tories bought up keywords relating to Labour's activities and have the backing of an £18 million advertising budget.

Labour has the least fans, enjoying a rise of 286%, but tailing behind their rivals with 29,676 fans up from 10,374.  Gordon Brown's popularity was not included as he does not have a Facebook page.

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