Australians love to talk about politics on Twitter, making #auspol the third most used political hashtags globally, and political events don’t come much bigger than elections. As the 2016 campaign nears the halfway point and #ausvotes Twitter conversation heats up, a majority of Australian Twitter users in Australia say their vote is still up for grabs.
Almost six in ten (56%) Twitter users are currently uncommitted on how they will vote on 2 July, and with Twitter users much more likely to increase their interest in politics in the lead up to the election than non users, Twitter is the perfect place for candidates and parties to reach these undecided voters.
Twitter plays a role in helping users determine their vote
Nearly two thirds (59%) of users say that reading about news or events on Twitter helps them formulate or reevaluate their views about politics or the election. More than a third of users have reconsidered their views on a specific issue after using Twitter, while 22% say they have changed their voting intention in response to something they saw on Twitter.
Not just political junkies
Twitter is largely (76%) seen by users as a good way to discover the points of views of different people, with 70% of users disagreeing that Twitter is mainly for political insiders. Everyday Aussies are coming to Twitter to make politics more interesting and entertaining (59%) and nearly one third (30%) say Twitter makes politics easier to understand.
Twitter aids political discovery
Sixty percent of Twitter users say they are likely to read a political story or click a link in their Twitter timeline, and six in ten say Twitter has an important role to play in the democratic process. Three quarters of users identify Twitter as a good way to discover the points of view of different parties and candidates.
And while #auspol is one of the biggest drivers of political discussion globally, 43% of those who don’t Tweet say Twitter has helped formulate or reconsider their views about politics and the federal election.
Influence beyond Twitter
Twitter starts conversations: 65% of Australian users have shown their friends something from Twitter in the past week. The research also shows that a third of those with 100 or more followers on Twitter follow politicians, while half of those with over 100 followers search for trending political topics, which suggests that influential Australians like journalists and bloggers are using Twitter to source information for stories that live beyond Twitter.
Check out more findings from our research study of 1000 Australians below.
Research source: Twitter and Political Views research conducted by Galaxy Research May 2016 (1000 active Twitter users and 500 non-users).