As the dust finally settles on the EU elections, let’s reflect on the Tweets, topics, themes, and trends that got people talking on Twitter over the campaign. It’s been an exciting, loud and engaging few weeks, where Europeans not only came out in force at polling stations, but also on Twitter.
To drive engagement across all official EU languages, we launched two special emojis for the occasion - #EP2019 and #EUelections2019. From Thursday to Sunday — when voters from 28 Member States went to the polls — EU election-related conversations amassed an incredible 2.1 million Tweets collectively, including those using #EP2019, #EUelections2019 and #ThisTimeImVoting. Relatedly, voter turnout was way up.
Overall, since the campaign began in February, there was 6.2 million election-related Tweets, marking a 273% increase in Tweet volume on the previous EU elections. Twitter was the conversational platform of choice for those who wanted to engage on the issue for the 2019 EU elections.
Unsurprisingly, Brexit-related issues attracted a huge level of conversation and engagement with over 1.5 million Tweets posted on the topic over the election weekend alone, with 221k of those using #Brexit.
In terms of candidates who are front-runners for the next President of the EU Commission, most mentioned during the election weekend were @TimmermansEU, @ManfredWeber and @SkaKeller with the most frequently mentioned political parties being; European Green Party; European People's Party and the Party of European Socialists. The rise in Twitter conversation involving the European Green Party is one that is certainly reflective of the #GreenWave across Europe in terms of voting patterns.
Engagement was also extremely high for the #TellEurope Eurovision debate, with 2.5m views on Twitter’s livestream of the event from the Parliament’s @Europarl_EN account.
The much-loved #DogsAtPollingStations also proved popular, with almost 22,000 Tweets between Thursday and Friday. Here’s a snippet of what was shared:
On Sunday, when 21 countries went to the polling stations, Europe was alight with election 2019 conversation as demonstrated by our Tweet velocity heatmap. The map shows the geographical distribution of conversation across the region, including spikes as people expressed their democratic participation in every individual Member State.
As the figures show, the depth of conversation around the #EUelections was significantly higher (273%) than the previous election cycle, highlighting how Twitter is increasingly utilized by citizens to express themselves on the issues that matter to their everyday lives. To help protect these critical online conversations, we took a number of proactive steps specific to these elections. These included establishing an elections integrity team to monitor trends and behaviours; rolling out a new tool to allow people to report deliberately misleading election-related content; and launching a political campaign ads policy to provide more insight into electioneering ads.
In February, we said Twitter would work diligently to ensure it would be the world’s window into the EU election conversation. Between selfies at count centres, breaking news alerts and the intense back-and-forth of the Brexit debate, the conversation was dynamic, extraordinarily varied and most importantly, created an online town square to unite voters around key issues relevant to them.
Serving and protecting the health of the public conversation continues to be Twitter’s key priority. We’ll continue working to protect conversations on the service, particularly around election cycles, by investing in technology, developing new policies, and building meaningful partnerships to further our understanding of the political and social context within which Twitter operates.