Ahead of the first French-language leaders’ debate on Thursday, Facebook has released more data that shows how its users in Quebec are discussing the federal election on the social network.

The latest data from Facebook shows that the economy has been the most-discussed political issue in Quebec since Aug.2., much like in the rest of Canada. Discussions on Facebook about governance spiked in mid-August and mid-September, while chatter about foreign policy started to spike at the beginning of September — just as the refugee crisis in Europe made headlines around the world.

Facebook measures user engagement on different election topics by tracking specific keywords. For example, words like “surplus” and “deficit” are used to track discussions related to government finances.

Facebook conversation

Facebook also tracked how often its users discussed federal party leaders. Since Aug. 2., Conservative Leader Stephen Harper was consistently the most-discussed leader in Quebec. But Harper’s mentions on Facebook started to plummet around Sept. 15, as discussions about NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau spiked.

Canada-wide, Harper has been the most talked-about leader on Facebook by far, with anywhere from 60 to more than 80 per cent of unique users mentioning him since Aug. 2.

Facebook conversation

Facebook says that three million Canadians have had conversations about election issues on the social network since June 1. Facebook has also recorded more than 21 million interactions -- posts, shares, comments and likes -- on election-related content.