The federal election is expected to officially begin sometime tomorrow. So, it’s time to take stock of what’s been going on online in the lead up to the election. I used Heartbeat and MAP to do some analysis of #cdnpoli Twitter activity that took place during the month of July. Full disclosure: Twitter is a client of my company.
In all, there were 483,301 #cdnpoli tweets issued from 53,704 unique Twitter accounts in July (not bad for a the summer). As the graph that follows indicates, activity started to pick up slightly during the past week on rumours the Prime Minister will call the election ahead of the expected September 14 start date.
The #cdnpoli buzz
Buzzgraphs illustrate the connection between key terms in the most active conversations. The stronger the connection between the words, the thicker and bolder the connection line. There are three levels of connection illustrated using a thick solid line (strong), a thin solid line (medium) and a thin broken line (light).
The buzzgraph for #cdnpoli traffic in July shows there was density in chatter the competition between the NDP and Conservatives (CPC), largely tied to discussion about who is going to participate in the debates and under what conditions. There is a healthy amount of discussion surrounding potential election issues including Bill C-51 (also c51) and the impact of falling oil prices on the Canadian economy (associated with ableg and oil on the buzzgraph). Also making the graph is climate, the Senate (on the popularity of a Rick Mercer tweet mentioning Senators), human rights and missing and murdered indigenous women.
Surprisingly, the child care cheques, with all their fanfare, did not generate enough activity to appear on the buzzgraph.
Ontario tends to represent the largest portion of #cdnpoli discussion. Often Alberta comes in second. However, BC took that honour for July. Quebec holds the number four position.
Gender splits are different by province. Alberta has the “most balanced” splits with 60% male participation, 40% female. BC follows with 66% male, 34% female; then, Ontario at 67% male, 33% female. Quebec participation is the most imbalanced with 82% male and 18% female.
While there were common concerns across these four provinces, particularly related to Bill C-51, there were some issues more specifically connected with individual provinces.
- Ontario mentioned the debates, the economy and concerns about recent pipeline leaks.
- BC was more focused on discussions about climate change, the abolition of the Senate and anger over the Prime Minister apparently politicizing the wildfires.
- Albertans tweeted about the national energy strategy, ISIS propaganda (and its use by the Conservatives in political ads), and the infrastructure funding announcements.
- Quebec was concerned about taxes, the economy (connecting concerns about the current state of the Greek economy) and sexism.
Things get interesting when we look at the most popular associated hashtags. Nearly 7% of #cdnpoli tweets were also tagged with #ndp, ahead of both #cpc (the Conservatives, 5.8%) and #lpc (the Liberals, 4.9%). The election hashtag, #elxn42 was included in 2.8% of the tweets. Expect to see that number grow in the coming months.