Election Night: Shifts in political engagement on social media
Nicole Gibillini, CTV News
Published Tuesday, October 20, 2015 6:14PM EDT
Not only did voter turnout reach record numbers during Monday’s election, but people across Canada were also highly engaged on social media.
Out of the 16 million people who use Facebook across the country each day, almost half were posting, sharing, liking, and commenting about the election.
“This is a great way to show that Canadians talk about very serious issues, like the election, like politics on Facebook,” Kevin Chan of Facebook Canada told CTV News Tuesday. “It’s a civic engagement platform.”
Facebook finds new ways for users to engage with big events. A new feature unleashed for this campaign was the “I’m a Voter” megaphone, a shareable image place at the top of users’ news feeds. It was a popular way for Canadians to let their friends and family know they were voting – at least 814,000 users shared it throughout the day.
The social platform was generally a popular platform of Canadians on election night. With over 50 million election-related likes, comments, and shares on Facebook, there were some notable trends:
Quebec’s conversation on leaders
By the time polls closed in Quebec, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, for the first time during the election campaign, surpassed Stephen Harper as the most-mentioned party leader in the province.
At the bottom of the list was Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who managed to win one seat for her party in her B.C. riding of Saanich—Gulf Islands. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair wasn’t too far behind, as he dropped to number four on the list of most discussed leaders.
Percentages of Canadians talking about the Leaders in Quebec (full day on Oct 19):
- Justin Trudeau 63%
- Stephen Harper 50%
- Gilles Duceppe 9%
- Tom Mulcair 8%
- Elizabeth May 2%
Most talked-about issues
While the economy dominated most of the conversation throughout the election campaign, governance became the most-discussed issue on Facebook on election night. This indicates that people were talking about minority versus majority governments, corruption, and scandal. The list:
- Social Issues
- Foreign Policy
- Government Benefits
Google Canada reported that the Conservative Kindersley, Saskatchewan was the place with the highest number of Justin Trudeau Google searches throughout the evening. Some of the top questions people had were about his age, platform and marital status.
Trudeau’s win made headlines around the world, and that discussion includes talk on social media.
Global leaders including India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, Gaston Browne, and Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, all shared congratulatory messages for Trudeau on their Facebook pages.