This is now the second week of testing the Twitter-election-prediction theory using the Nova Scotia provincial election as our initial test lab. The following links further expand on this project:
- Tweet count is a shot across the bow for traditional pollsters
- Early data has Twitter predicting NDP victory in Nova Scotia #NSvotes
- More Tweets, More Votes: Social Media as a Quantitative Indicator of Political Behavior
Before reading the analysis, and in case you haven’t read any of the above supporting material, this analysis tests the aforementioned theory which is based on all mentions of any sentiment (positive, neutral and negative) toward a candidate or party, and does not weight for the incumbent effect which may prove a more significant issue in Canada than in the United States (which is still largely a two-party system).
There is also no offset for any issue-specific or scandal-driven mentions. Everything is considered en masse. After all, this is a fun project, testing a theory in a lab mindset. We can start examining possible adjustments after we’ve tested this theory a few times.
Election prediction by leader mentions
Premier Darrell Dexter and Liberal leader Stephen McNeil lost overall share of voice this past week, posting drops of roughly 2% and 4% respectively. That made space for gains in overall mentions for PC leader Jamie Baillie (up 3.5%) and Green partly leader John Percy (up 2%).
Regardless of the redistribution of mentions, Dexter holds a healthy lead over McNeil. In fact, Dexter’s lead grew since last week (now 10%) and his overall lead in mentions for the first two weeks of the election has Dexter 6% ahead of McNeil. After two weeks, Baillie holds third (25%) and Percy trails in fourth (2%).
Election prediction by party mentions
Party mentions are a different story. The NDP have pulled well ahead of the Liberals in the second week, up 5% to 50%, while the Liberals fell 5% from 32% to 27%. The PCs also posted a small loss (0.5%) while the Greens picked up that same share.
Overall, there was very little movement between the first week’s results and the election-to-date results. Analysis shows the NDP up only slightly overall (from 45% to 47%), with a healthy 16% lead over the second place Liberals (down roughly 2%) and the PCs and Greens holding steady.
I’ve also conducted some initial analysis of selected issues. Taxes continue to dominate Twitter chatter after two weeks of the campaign, followed by energy and healthcare. Other prominent issues mentions on Twitter include the economy, employment, education and this past week’s polling/voter-influence scandal.