Events

Inside the 40th Nova Scotia general election on Twitter

By Jennifer Hollett
Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The people of Nova Scotia will hit the polls on May 30, 2017 to vote in the province’s 40th general election. Voters have taken to Twitter, using the #nsVotes and #nspoli hashtags, to join in the conversation as Nova Scotia primes to select its new leader.

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Incumbent Stephen McNeil (@StephenMcNeil) of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party (@NSLiberal) will be seeking his second term in office, opposed by Jamie Baillie (@JamieBaillie) of the PC Party of Nova Scotia (@PCNS) and Gary Burrill (@GaryBurrill) of the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party (@NSNDP).

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McNeil called the election on April 30, 2017 and has owned the largest share of the #nsVotes conversation on Twitter in the weeks since. During this time, McNeil was mentioned on Twitter 1.4x more than Burrill and 1.7x more than Baillie.

In terms of the key topics on the minds and Twitter feeds of NS voters, here are the three election issues that have appeared most often in Tweets about #nsVotes:

  1. Seniors care and nursing homes
  2. The economy and budgets
  3. Education and tuition
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May 18, 2017 saw the highest volume of Tweets featuring the #nsVotes hashtag, coinciding with the first televised leadership debate in Halifax, also broadcast live on Twitter @cbcns. During the debate, Gary Burrill led in terms of share of voice amongst the three party leaders.

Burrill was mentioned in 40% of all Tweets that mentioned a party leader during the debate. Stephen McNeil was mentioned in 37% of these Tweets while Jamie Baillie was mentioned in 23% of these Tweets.

 

 

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Here are a pair of other interesting findings about #nsVotes, regarding the key issues that have been debated on Twitter and where the Tweets are coming from:

  • The #nsVotes Twitter conversation around labour and unions has been heating up in recent weeks. For May 2017, we looked at which secondary hashtags were being used most often in Tweets about the election. Three of the five most-used hashtags were related to labour and unions: #canlab#fairfuture and #1u.
  • While 88% of the Tweets about the election have come from Nova Scotia residents, Ontarians on Twitter have sent 8% of the Tweets about the election, demonstrating that the Twitter conversation around this election is expanding into other provinces.
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Keep Twitter close on election day on May 30 and beyond for the latest news, reactions and discourse about #nspoli and to keep a pulse on what’s happening in Nova Scotia politics.

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@jenniferhollett

Jennifer Hollett

‎@jenniferhollett‎

Head of News and Government Partnerships, Twitter Canada

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