All Politics Is Local? The Twitter
Performance of Local Candidates in
the 2013 Australian Federal Election
Assoc. Prof. Ax...
BACKGROUND
• Research projects:
– ARC Discovery: New Media and Public Communication (QUT)
– NRC FRISAM: Impact of Social M...
AUSTRALIAN POLITICS ON TWITTER
• Twitter in Australia:
– Early adoption, ~2.8m accounts by late 2013
– Significant use for...
AUSTRALIAN POLITICIANS ON TWITTER
(data to June 2013)
@TONYABBOTTMHR’S FAKE FOLLOWERS
(11/12 Aug. 2013)
@MENTIONS OF LEADERS (@REPLIES + RETWEETS)
TV debates
Abbott ‘sex appeal’
comments Labor campaign
‘launch’
RETWEETS OF LEADERS
@MENTIONS OF LEADERS
@MENTIONS OF PARTY CANDIDATES
(@KRUDDMP AND @TONYABBOTTMHR REMOVED)
TWEETS BY LEADERS
TWEETS BY PARTY CANDIDATES
TWEETS BY LOCAL CANDIDATES
@MENTIONS OF LOCAL CANDIDATES
TWEETS BY SYDNEY CANDIDATES
@MENTIONS OF SYDNEY CANDIDATES
@MENTIONS (ELECTION DAY)
SOME OBSERVATIONS
• Politician activity:
– Considerable tweeting activity by local candidates, though unevenly distributed...
http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
@snurb_dot_info
@jeanburgess
@dpwoodford
@timhighfield
@tsadkowsky
@socialmediaQUT
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All Politics Is Local? The Twitter Performance of Local Candidates in the 2013 Australian Federal Election

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Paper presented at the Social Media and the Transformation of Public Space conference, Amsterdam, 18 June 2014.

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All Politics Is Local? The Twitter Performance of Local Candidates in the 2013 Australian Federal Election

  1. 1. All Politics Is Local? The Twitter Performance of Local Candidates in the 2013 Australian Federal Election Assoc. Prof. Axel Bruns ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation Queensland University of Technology a.bruns@qut.edu.au – @snurb_dot_info – http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  2. 2. BACKGROUND • Research projects: – ARC Discovery: New Media and Public Communication (QUT) – NRC FRISAM: Impact of Social Media on Agenda-Setting in Election Campaigns (QUT, UiO, UiB, Uppsala, CSU LB) – ATN-DAAD: Mapping Networked Politics (QUT, LMU) • Study design: – Comparative study of Twitter usage during Australian, Norwegian, German (and US) election – Tracking tweets from and at Twitter accounts of MPs and candidates before, during, and after election campaigns – Additional analysis of follower networks, national Twitterspheres, social media / mainstream media intersections, etc.
  3. 3. AUSTRALIAN POLITICS ON TWITTER • Twitter in Australia: – Early adoption, ~2.8m accounts by late 2013 – Significant use for political debate: #auspol, #ausvotes, political accounts • Politics in Australia: – Three-year electoral period – Lower House MPs must win majority in local electorates – Senate voting considerably more complex; half of Senate replaced every three years – Considerable media focus on two major parties and their candidates for PM • Timeline: – 2007: change of government (Coalition > Labor) – 2010: Labor PM Kevin Rudd replaced by Deputy PM Julia Gillard – 2010: Labor PM Gillard narrowly retains power in federal election – 2012/13: former PM Rudd challenges unpopular PM Gillard – 2013: Rudd returns as PM in June – 2013: change of government (Labor > Coalition)
  4. 4. AUSTRALIAN POLITICIANS ON TWITTER (data to June 2013)
  5. 5. @TONYABBOTTMHR’S FAKE FOLLOWERS (11/12 Aug. 2013)
  6. 6. @MENTIONS OF LEADERS (@REPLIES + RETWEETS) TV debates Abbott ‘sex appeal’ comments Labor campaign ‘launch’
  7. 7. RETWEETS OF LEADERS
  8. 8. @MENTIONS OF LEADERS
  9. 9. @MENTIONS OF PARTY CANDIDATES (@KRUDDMP AND @TONYABBOTTMHR REMOVED)
  10. 10. TWEETS BY LEADERS
  11. 11. TWEETS BY PARTY CANDIDATES
  12. 12. TWEETS BY LOCAL CANDIDATES
  13. 13. @MENTIONS OF LOCAL CANDIDATES
  14. 14. TWEETS BY SYDNEY CANDIDATES
  15. 15. @MENTIONS OF SYDNEY CANDIDATES
  16. 16. @MENTIONS (ELECTION DAY)
  17. 17. SOME OBSERVATIONS • Politician activity: – Considerable tweeting activity by local candidates, though unevenly distributed – Labor and minor parties (esp. Greens) most active – Eastern states / urban centres more active • User attention: – Overall focus on PM candidates and other frontbenchers – Some engagement with other local candidates, at lower volume – Generally more discussion about than engagement with candidates • Further research: – Correlations with vote margins in each seat? – Impact of politicians’ responsiveness on user engagement?
  18. 18. http://mappingonlinepublics.net/ @snurb_dot_info @jeanburgess @dpwoodford @timhighfield @tsadkowsky @socialmediaQUT
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