By September 4, 2012 2 Comments Read More →

Québec election chatter: analysis of QC election tweets (election day coverage part 1)

Voters in la belle province go to the polls today. The outcome is anyone’s guess.

I’ve been keeping tabs on Québec election and political tweets in spite my decidedly weak French. I’ll treat that as a disclaimer: while my data gathering is complete, my data-coding may not have been as comprehensive as with my usual analysis. I’ll be working with a Québec-based colleague (after the election) to dive deeper into the data I collected to perform a more meaningful analysis. What follows is one possible take.

I limited myself to Twitter due to the high volume of activity. Essentially, that’s where the conversation — or at least the chatter — is taking place. I tracked 449,183 tweets issued between August 1 through September 3. Here are some of my findings.

STUDENTS AND TUITION FEES

Taxes and the economy have not been the popular topics of conversation we might have expected. In fact, even sovereignty (which has become a significant issue in the last week) hasn’t driven the level of chatter I expected.

The leading topic of conversation was student tuition fees and their protests/strikes. That’s surprising given the amount of media attention given to the Liberal government’s entanglement in alleged corruption. This might speak to a specific demographic using Twitter to make sure a particular message was heard. Having said that, data suggest Twitter is not necessarily a tool of the 18-25 year age group. A July 31, 2012 post by Ignite Social Media reported Twitter’s most active age group is 25-34. They’re followed by an apparent tie between 35-44 and 45-54 year olds.

PARTICIPATION SKEWS MALE

Most participants in the conversation are male. This finding is consistent with all of my other analysis of demographics related to Canadian political chatter.

I’ll publish some more analysis later today.

Analysis performed using Marketwire/Sysomos Heartbeat.

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About the Author:

Mark Blevis is a digital public affairs strategist and President of FullDuplex.ca, an integrated digital communications, public affairs and research company. His work focuses on the role of digital tools and culture on issues and reputation management. He also leads research into how Canadian opinions are shaped through online content and interactions.