Disclaimer: These charts are plotted for educational purpose only.Hugues H. Lherisson (@hlherisson) is not affiliated with and doesnt support anypolitical party. He doesnt receive support from any group, organisation, orindividual to collect the data, and to produce and publish these charts. He publishesthese charts on his own behalf. Version française disponible sur www.slideshare.nethlherisson
1. How did political parties compare with each other in their use of Twitter?2. When did political parties’ Twitter accounts gain momentum?3. What Twitter strategies were used by political parties?4. What were political parties and leaders tweetting about?5. Is it true that the more you tweet the more followers you have?
Only political parties represented in the Quebec National Assembly at the time of the election are included in this study: Parti libéral du Québec (PLQ), Parti Québécois (PQ), Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ), Québec solidaire (QS), and Option nationale (ON). Some party leaders and co-leaders have their own Twitter accounts: François Legault (CAQ), Françoise David (QS), Amir Khadir (QS), and Jean-Martin Aussant (ON). Jean Charest (PLQ) and Pauline Marois (PQ) didn’t have Twitter accounts at the time of the study. The data on number of followers, tweets, and following were collected every day before midnight between August 1st and September 4th from the parties’ and leaders’ accounts. For CAQ, collection ran from August 4th to September 4th. One individual may have different accounts. Number of followers for all political parties were increasing every day and it was impossible to know if the Quebec Election generated an increase of new Twitter accounts. Followers on Twitter are not necessarily constituents, affiliated members, supporters, or sympathizers.
Percentage increase in the number of followers First week Second week Third week Fourth week Fifth weekParti libéral du Québec 18% 31% 46% 54% 62%Parti québécois 14% 24% 39% 46% 59%Coalition avenir Quebec N/A 7% 19% 26% 33%François Legault (CAQ) 27% 47% 73% 85% 101%Québec Solidaire 9% 16% 31% 37% 44%Françoise David (QS) 9% 15% 46% 57% 69%Amir Khadir (QS) 5% 9% 22% 25% 29%Jean-Martin Aussant (ON) 23% 40% 123% 141% 158%Option nationale 25% 52% 124% 146% 167%
35000 Number of followers 30000 Day 1 25000 Election Day 20000 15000 10000 5000 0 This confirms that Twitter is a good platform for parties with a modest budget. Day 1 Election Day Increase ON increased the ON 4667 12451 167% number of followers Jean-Martin Aussant (ON) 8907 22972 158%substantially during thecampaign, but was not François Legault CAQ) 12860 25907 101% invited in any of the Françoise David (QS) 11781 19932 69%four televised debates. PLQ 6533 10600 62% PQ 13061 20793 59% CAQ 8034 11597 44% QS 14011 20217 44% Amir Khadir (QS) 26635 34270 29%
180% Parti libéral du Québec160% Parti québécois Coalition avenir Quebec F. Legault (CAQ)140% Québec Solidaire Françoise David (QS)120% Amir Khadir (QS) Jean-Martin Aussant (ON)100% Option nationale80%60%40%20% 0% First week Second week Third week Fourth week Fifht week The momentum happened between the 2nd and 3rd weeks during the televised debates.
Average new New followers- New followers- New New Average new New followers- followers August 1 First debate Second debate followers- followers- followers-After Election night to August 18th Third Fourth the debates to (September 4) debate debate September 3Parti libéral du Québec 154 230 198 203 112 55 285Parti québécois 223 553 408 286 235 121 1008Coalition avenir Quebec 115 287 206 199 166 73 303François Legault CAQ) 426 901 666 617 468 147 910Québec Solidaire 156 896 452 360 213 178 614Françoise David (QS) 122 1565 1179 554 427 120 916Amir Khadir (QS) 178 1293 1002 426 219 241 584Jean-Martin Aussant (ON) 290 3686 1434 937 390 150 881Option nationale 185 1566 719 382 213 104 515 The number of followers increased substantially on televised debates, even for ON who didn’t participate in any of them.
Party leaders who have their own Twitter accounts said they author their tweets. François Legault was the most active and was involved in direct “conversations” with journalists, celebrities and politicians from other parties on a daily basis. On evenings, the parties (PLQ, PQ, and CAQ) were using Twitter to give heads-up on the next day announcements. These parties was sending many tweets on the same subject, several times during the day (sometimes the message was exactly the same.) The tone of the messages were sometimes very strong, but always civil.
No party leader made any blunder on Twitter during the election campaign, which demonstrates that Twitter can be used wisely. On July 21, 2012, a CAQ candidate was dismissed after a tweet (election was called on August 1st, 2012.) Parti Québécois tried to engage followers by organizing a quiz on Quebec politics. Like other regular Twitter users, politicians shared photos, cheered athletes during the Olympics, said where they were, and commented on “how great their lunches were.” All parties used Twitter to correct or give their own versions on information disseminated in the media.
They used Twitter to attack or direct followers to negative media reports, columns, or editorials on other political parties. PLQ PQ CAQ QS ON PLQ tweets on 11 9 0 0 PQ tweets on 12 10 0 0* QS and ON didn’t send CAQ tweets negative on 207 247 7 0 tweetsagainst each QS tweets other. on 33 32 9 4* ON tweets on 18 14 11 4*
Top five issues 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5thParti libéral Economy and job Education Plan Nord Transport Tourismdu Québec creation (88) (29) (20) (13) (11)Parti Family/ Natural Economy (18) Sovereignty Corruptionquébécois Daycare(22) resources Health (18) (14) (12) Education (22) (19) Senior (14)Coalition Education (144) Economy Health (89) Sovereignty Naturalavenir (108) (77) resourcesQuébec (54)Québec Natural resources Education Sovereighty Health (37) Poverty/solidaire Environment (69) (62) (57) minimum wage (34)Option Sovereignty (54) French Education (15) Health (12) Naturalnationale language resources (17) (8)
Average Followers Daily increase Tweets & Retweets180 Average Daily Tweets & Retweets160 Parti libéral du Québec 16 62%140 Followers increase (%) Parti québécois 39 59%120 Coalition avenir Quebec 19 44%100 F. Legault (CAQ) 81 101% Québec Solidaire 8 29% 80 Françoise David (QS) 5 69% 60 Amir Khadir (QS) 8 29% 40 Jean-Martin Aussant (ON) 7 158% 20 Option nationale 54 167% 0 Not necessarily ! At least in this election, you didn’t have to tweet a lot to have a significant number of followers.
Who follow political parties on Twitter: age, gender, address, profession, party affiliation, etc.? Do followers tend to follow all political parties or only the one that they support? Why do people decide to follow a political party ? How many people subscribe to Twitter during the election compared with the rest of the year? Was Twitter beneficial to the election (more people was engaged in discussions thanks to Twitter) or was the election beneficial to Twitter (Twitter obtained an increased number of subscribers thanks to the election)?
Hugues H. Lherisson (@hlherisson) is not affiliated with and doesnt support any political party. He didnt receive support from any group, organisation, or individual to collect the data, and to produce and publish these charts. He publishes these charts on his own behalf.