• Almost 1 in 4 (23%) people in Leeds dislike Christmas, according to new research by Virgin Trains
  • Despite this, almost 9 out of 10 (86%) people in Leeds love Christmas lights and festive markets
  • Leeds are strongly positive when it comes to Christmas songs, as 3 out of 4 (76%) people love them
  • VIDEO: Virgin Trains and Matt Edmondson team up to spread some Christmas cheer with a light-hearted look at the ‘scroogiest’ festive posts from the nation’s newsfeeds

London, December 2017: Forget Brexit or Strictly Come Dancing; it’s Christmas that really divides Newcastle, with a clear split between the 77% who love the festive season and the 23% who can’t wait for it all to be over. Virgin Trains used social media analysis to measure positive and negative sentiment around Christmas, with the results showing that almost 1 in 5 (19%) of Christmas-related tweets across Leeds are negative.

The study by Virgin Trains analysed over 500,000 Christmas related tweets* to create a comprehensive view of our feelings towards the festive season, and the results show a nation that risks being torn apart by its polarised view on festive family time and Christmas decorations. Here’s a breakdown of how Leeds dwellers really feel about our favourite festive traditions…

Positive                   Negative

  • Carol singers                           69%                 31%
  • Mince pies                               71%                 29%
  • Early Christmas songs         73%                27%
  • Wrapping presents               73%                27%
  • Christmas lights                     73%                27%
  • Festive family time                80%               20%
  • Christmas decorations         81%               19%
  • Michael Bublé                         81%                19%
  • Pigs in blankets                       84%               16%

Christmas adverts provoke strong feelings in Leeds, with the volume of negative and positive tweets spiking when this year’s offerings were released in mid-November. Festive good-feelings are likely to dramatically snowball from December 20th in the UK, as the nation enters the final working week before the Christmas break. Positive sentiment towards carol singing increases on average by 12% from mid-November to mid-December in Leeds as we begin to get into the Christmas spirit.

Seasons Tweetings

As an antidote to the bah-humbug brigade and to help to bring a smile to even the grumpiest Grinch around, Virgin Trains is calling out the scrooges to help spread some Christmas cheer. With the help of presenter, Matt Edmondson, they have handpicked some of the crankiest Christmas-related tweets from the British public. Watch the full video here: https://youtu.be/Y463bVZHQdI

Matt Edmondson, Presenter, said, “Much like my family’s attitude to cracking out the board games on Boxing Day, us Brits are a divided bunch when it comes to getting into the Christmas spirit. From moaning about merry carol singers and bright festive lights to dreading Michael Bublé’s latest offering (for the record, I’m team Bublé all the way), there really are some scroogey tweets going around. I have my grumpy moments too (no, I don’t want to sample your sprouts, even if you’ve used Nigella’s recipe), but it’s easy to forget that this is the time of year to celebrate with loved ones and put our differences aside – even serious ones like Brussel sprout preferences. Amongst all the madness, it’s been good to see the funny side with Virgin Trains, as we welcome in the silly season (warts and all) and spread some cheer this Christmas.”

Patrick McCall, Co-Chairman, Virgin Trains, said, “Here at Virgin Trains we love Christmas. It’s all about connecting friends and family; and that’s at the heart of what we do. This year, whilst we connect friends and families on our journeys on the West and East Coast, we have a festive mission: to spread a little Christmas cheer everywhere we go in a light-hearted way that we can all relate to.”

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