If you’re following the lead-up to this coming Canadian federal election, then you know that polls either have the Conservatives and Liberals neck-and-neck, or the Liberals beginning to pull away. Several media outlets are also starting to back their favoured candidates.
In the past week social media has also generated its fair share of data, with Justin Trudeau holding a vast lead over his opponents in terms of both mentions and overall support.
Top mentions by leader handle from Oct 7-14
Perhaps most interestingly, the pattern amongst all Twitter content throughout the past week that mentions one of the federal party leaders is that of “change”: the two top hashtags mentioned over the past week (that were not a party/leader handle) were #Ready4Change at 4.7k mentions and #realchange at 4.4k.
As far as sentiment goes, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is still trending overwhelmingly positively (at 59 per cent, the highest of all federal leaders) and is almost assured re-election to her seat in Saanich-Gulf Islands.
Alternatively, tone around NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s tweets is vastly neutral (at 73 per cent, also the highest amongst all federal leaders), perhaps indicating a certain level of skepticism of his party after its initial surge.
Justin Trudeau’s sentiment, rather, is mixed but leans toward either positive or neutral.
And far as Twitter is concerned, Stephen Harper’s social media mentions continue to be exceedingly negative (at 66 per cent, the highest amongst leaders), with only 3 per cent positive.
As far as the top issues are concerned, amongst @pmharper mentions “economy” is mentioned 2.1k times, and “jobs” is mentioned 1.5k times; amongst @JustinTrudeau mentions, “middle class” is mentioned 3.8k times.
There has also been a focus these past few weeks on the niqab debate. But despite its prevalence in the traditional media, other issues have been more prevalent within @pmharper mentions: for instance, #niqab was mentioned 727 times but #MMIW (the hashtag associated with the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women) was mentioned 760 times.