Insights

Year on Twitter: Politics in Canada 2017

By Jennifer Hollett
Tuesday, 5 December 2017

2017 was a year of change in Canadian politics.

Since January, we’ve been presented with a new Governor General, new leaders for the Conservative Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party, new Premiers in British Columbia and Nunavut, a new Mayor in Montreal and thousands of other political topics that stoked Canadian conversations on Twitter.

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Insight #1: These were the five most-mentioned Canadian politician accounts on Twitter in 2017.

  1. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada (@JustinTrudeau)
  2. Norm Kelly, Toronto city councillor (@norm)
  3. Andrew Scheer, Conservative Party of Canada leader (@AndrewScheer)
  4. Jason Kenney, United Conservative Party leader (@jkenney)
  5. Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario (@kathleen_wynne)

Insight #2: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) was, not surprisingly, Canada’s most-mentioned politician on Twitter for the third consecutive year. He gained more than 1,575,000 new Twitter followers in 2017 and in March of this year, he became the first Canadian politician to reach 3,000,000 Twitter followers.

These were the three most Retweeted @JustinTrudeau Tweets on 2017.

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Insight #3: These were the five most-mentioned accounts from the federal cabinet in 2017.

  1. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment & Climate Change (@cathmckenna)
  2. Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance (@Bill_Morneau)
  3. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs (@cafreeland)
  4. Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Defense (@HarjitSajjan)
  5. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage (@melaniejoly)

Both McKenna and Morneau also placed in the Top 10 most-mentioned Canadian politician accounts on Twitter for 2017.

Insight #4: These were the five most-mentioned accounts for Canadian provincial premiers in 2017.

  1. Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario (@kathleen_wynne)
  2. John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia (@jjhorgan)
  3. Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta (@RachelNotley)
  4. Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan (@PremierBradWall)
  5. Philippe Couillard, Premier of Quebec (@phcouillard)

Wynne gained the most new Twitter followers amongst Canadian premiers in 2017, adding more than 73,000 new accounts to her following. In October 2017, she became the first Canadian premier reach 200,000 Twitter followers.

Insight #5: These were the five most-mentioned accounts for Canadian mayors in 2017.

  1. John Tory, Toronto (@JohnTory)
  2. Naheed Nenshi, Calgary (@nenshi)
  3. Jim Watson, Ottawa (@JimWatsonOttawa)
  4. Don Iveson, Edmonton (@DonIveson)
  5. Valérie Plante, Montréal (@Val_Plante)

Tory also gained the most new Twitter followers amongst Canadian mayors in 2017, adding more than 75,000 new accounts to his following.

Tory was one of a number of Canadian mayors to reach follower milestones in 2017. Details below with the month each milestone was reached in brackets.

  • John Tory, Toronto (@JohnTory) - 200,000 followers (June 2017)
  • Jim Watson, Ottawa (@JimWatsonOttawa) - 100,000 (January 2017)
  • Gregor Robertson, Vancouver (@mayorgregor) - 100,000 (October 2017)
  • Brian Bowman, Winnipeg (@Mayor_Bowman) - 50,000 (April 2017)

 

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Insight #6: In May 2017, Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) was elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

The Conservative leadership race (#CPCldr) race was a popular topic on Twitter during the first six months of 2017 with Scheer and fellow candidates, Maxime Bernier (@MaximeBernier) and Kellie Leitch (@KellieLeitch), all ranking in the Top 10 most-mentioned politician accounts on Twitter between January 2017 and June 2017.

In the six months since his victory, Scheer’s Twitter following has seen considerable growth, as he has 3.3x more followers in late November than he had on the day of the #CPCldr vote.

Insight #7: In October 2017, Jagmeet Singh (@JagmeetSingh) was elected as the new leader of the NDP.

Singh’s Twitter presence grew in a number of ways during the year. Singh crossed 100,000 Twitter followers in November 2017, joining former party leader, Thomas Mulcair (@ThomasMulcair), as the only other active party member to hit that milestone. He gained more than 73,000 followers in 2017 overall.

For the year, Singh also had more Twitter account mentions than his fellow NDP leadership (#NDPldr) candidates Charlie Angus (@CharlieAngusNDP), Niki Ashton (@nikiashton) and Guy Caron (@GuyCaronNPD) combined. Singh’s mentions were increased by one of the biggest Canadian viral video moments when he was confronted by a racist heckler during a campaign stop in Brampton.

 

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Insight #8: On July 18, John Horgan (@jjhorgan) was sworn in as the new Premier of British Columbia and quickly became one of Canada’s most-mentioned politicians on Twitter, landing in the Top 10 of that category for 2017. By late November, Horgan had amassed more than 4x more Twitter followers than he had when the year began.

Horgan’s win became of one of Canada’s defining political moments of the year on Twitter, as his BC NDP (@bcndp) formed a coalition government with the BC Green Party (@BCGreens), ousting incumbent premier Christy Clark (@christyclarkbc) of the BC Liberal Party (@bcliberals).

Insight #9: In October 2017, Calgary mayor, Naheed Nenshi (@nenshi), and Edmonton mayor, Don Iveson (@DonIveson), were re-elected for their third and second terms in office, respectful.

As Canada’s third most-followed active politician on Twitter (after @JustinTrudeau and @norm), Nenshi had one of Canada’s Top 20 most-mentioned politician accounts for 2017 and was Canada’s second most-mentioned mayor on Twitter overall.

Nenshi and Iveson are two of only five Canadian mayors who have more than 100,000 Twitter followers.

 

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Insight #10: In November 2017, Valérie Plante (@val_plante) defeated incumbent Denis Coderre (@DenisCoderre) to become the new mayor of Montréal.

Within three weeks of her victory, Plante’s Twitter following had more than tripled and for the month of November 2017, she was also among the Top 10 most-mentioned politician accounts in Canada.

NOTE: All data insights contained in this blog are based on Twitter data collected between January 1, 2017 and November 30, 2017.

 

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@jenniferhollett

Jennifer Hollett

‎@jenniferhollett‎

Head of News and Government Partnerships, Twitter Canada

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