I conducted some analysis of the intersection of the Liberal leadership candidates and Twitter earlier this week. Some of the analysis made it to the Canadian Press. I thought I’d share some of the raw data here along with a chart I haven’t shared before.

Let’s start with the boring stuff: Twitter communities.

This is an area often discussed. People who aren’t entirely clear on social media measurement get excited about the number of one’s Twitter followers. There are many things I can say about this. In the interest of brevity, let me just say the number one one’s Twitter followers does not determine the individual’s success at using the tools or engaging their audience.

There are many ways to cut data which exploit the ‘followers’ data. I’m not interested in doing that. So let’s consider the following table as catering to a specific audience.

This table identifies the number of each candidate’s followers as of Thursday morning. The Faker scores were determined using the Status People Fake Follower Check tool. It analyzes 1,000 follower accounts and determines the ratio of good (or active), inactive and fake Twitter accounts follower the analyzed account. I reconciled each candidate’s followers.

[UPDATE MARCH 3: Thanks to @Jesse_Helmer and @ImPolitical for pointing out the Fake Follower scores had changed dramatically between February 28 and March 2. I’ve published a follow-up analysis which explores the discrepancy.]


Now, let’s get to the interesting stuff. For this I used Marketwire/Sysomos MAP. Specifically, I compared the Twitter accounts of the considered front-runners: Justin Trudeau (largely thought to be on the cusp of a coronation), Marc Garneau and Martha Hall Findlay. (Note: this analysis was performed based on data captured today.)

This is where things get interesting.

We see that Mr. Garneau and Ms. Hall Findlay appeal to people who are interested in politics, or have some interest in the Canadian political system. There’s also a healthy association with the Liberal party or Liberal Party values. Meanwhile, Mr. Trudeau’s followers span a broad range of interests of which politics is a relatively small player. Many seem to connect with Mr. Trudeau on a love of music. Some self-identify as writers. All three candidates have a large base of student followers. So, perhaps Mr. Trudeau is indeed capturing the attention of a new generation of politically-minded people.

Where things get interesting is the ‘quality’ of the candidate’s followers. Mr. Trudeau’s 187,632 followers carry an average ‘Authority’ ranking of 2.8 (out of 10) while Mr. Garneau’s followers have an average authority of 3.4. Ms. Hall Findlay enjoys the highest average authority-ranked follower with 3.8. Authority is based on a number of different factors including the degree of engagement of the individual. The more active and engaged a Twitter user is, the higher their rank. You’ll note Mr. Trudeau’s authority rank is 10, Mr. Garneau’s 8 and Ms. Hall Findlay’s 7.

Let’s keep looking…

With a following 55% of which is male and 45% female, Mr. Trudeau has the most balanced mix of gender among his followers. Mr. Garneau’s and Ms. Hall Findlay’s followers are more consistent with Canadian political chatter… 70% male, 30% female (give or take a few %).

Finally, both Mr. Garneau and Ms. Hall Findlay share followers with Mr. Trudeau. Just shy of 5% of Mr. Garneau’s followers (9,087) and 3% of Ms. Hall Findlay’s (5,533) are common with Mr. Trudeau.


For the record, David Bertschi‘s followers have the highest average authority rank among the candidates (4.3).

If there’s enough interest, I can do a follow up post which conducts a similar analysis involving David Bertschi, Deb Coyne and Joyce Murray.

Analysis performed using Marketwire/Sysomos MAP.