The countdown to the 2022 Australian Federal Election is on and the conversation is heating up, with over 2.75M Tweets since January 2022. As they prepare to go to the polls, Aussies are turning to Twitter to discuss the political issues, topics, and candidates that matter to them most.
Some of the most mentioned election-related trends span issues as diverse as COVID-19, disaster response, aged care, and the economy (as well as the proper place for the onion on a #DemocracySausage!)
The election – taking place on 21 May 2022 – was called on 10 April 2022. The heatmap below depicts the activity across the nation as Twitter lit up following the announcement.
Encouraging voter enrolment
New research from Twitter Australia reveals that a politician’s online actions and behaviour are extremely important to young Australians aged 18 to 24, with 63% saying this would influence their vote, compared to 47% of the total population.
The research, conducted in partnership with YouGov, also found more than one in three young Australians believe action on climate change to be the most important political issue when deciding who to vote for, followed by the economy and healthcare (including COVID-19).
Twitter Australia and the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) partnered to encourage young Australians to register to vote and have their voices heard at the Federal Election on 21 May.
“The public conversation on Twitter is more important than ever during elections, with research showing more than one third of young Australians will get the majority of their political information from social media during the election campaign,” said Kara Hinesley, Public Policy Director, Twitter Australia & New Zealand.
“This is why Twitter is encouraging first-time voters going to the polls to share their #MyFirstDemocracySausage experience on Twitter and showcase their political power.”
Having a #DemocracySausage on election day is a cornerstone of Australian democracy — and Australians take to Twitter to discuss politics as well as the sweet taste of electoral participation.
Regardless of whether you believe the sausage or onion goes first, our special Australia Election emoji will appear from today whenever people Tweet using any of the following hashtags:
“We’re thrilled to see this drive for young Australians to register to vote, share their #MyFirstDemocracySausage experience, and support Twitter’s broader efforts to elevate credible and reliable information on their service during this year’s Federal Election,” said AEC digital engagement director Evan Ekin-Smyth.
On 19 April 2022, the AEC announced more than 17.2 million Australians will be enrolled for the 2022 Federal Election – a record number of registered voters representing 96 per cent of eligible Australians.
Bad online behaviour from pollies a turn off
Twitter’s research identified that 80% of young people would be turned off voting for a politician that spread mis or disinformation online. Other leading turn offs include participating in online fights (53%) and if a politician were to criticise their opponent on social media (30%).
Online behaviours that would actively encourage young people to vote for a politician include encouraging informed and civic debate (30%), demonstrating community impact (29%), and responding to constituents’ requests for help (16%).
“Twitter is where people come to for credible information about where, when, and how to vote. We are committed to facilitating meaningful political debate, driving civic participation, and protecting the integrity of the election conversation from manipulation,” Hinesley added.
We launched a dedicated Twitter Moment to amplify and elevate trusted information about enrolling to vote. People on Twitter in Australia received a push notification linking back to this Moment on the day the electoral roll closed (Monday, 18 April 2022) to ensure they could quickly and easily find authoritative information from the AEC about how to register to vote or check their details were up to date.
Additionally, the AEC launched a multi-pronged public service media campaign including a Trend Takeover – featuring a large image/video canvas on the top of the Explore tab, encouraging Australians to enrol to vote or update their details.
Encouraging healthy conversations, and political discussions
Twitter works to protect the integrity of elections and democratic deliberation. Our civic integrity policy attempts to suppress participation or mislead people about when, where, or how to participate in a civic process. We also enforce policies on platform manipulation, spam, fake accounts and impersonation.
Through our ongoing work with the Australian Electoral Commission and other stakeholders, we maintain open lines of communication to troubleshoot issues, and receive reports of suspicious, abusive, or rule-violating activity around elections.
The research referenced in this announcement was sourced via an online research panel conducted by YouGov Galaxy Pty Ltd on behalf of Twitter. 2,344 Australians who are eligible to vote were surveyed, meaning there is a +/-2.4 margin of error in final results. This research is Australian Policy Council compliant.