Inside the #OntarioVotes conversation on Twitter

By Jennifer Hollett

Ontario heads to the polls this Thursday, June 7 and in recent weeks, Twitter has been the pulse of what’s happening in the lead-up to the province’s 42nd general election.

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Incumbent premier Kathleen Wynne (@Kathleen_Wynne) has already conceded that she is unlikely to be re-elected and within this assumption, either Doug Ford (@fordnation) of the Ontario PC Party and Andrea Horwath (@AndreaHorwarth) of the Ontario New Democratic Party will become Ontario’s 26th Premier.

Here on Twitter, the conversation has been non-stop with key hashtags such as #onpoli, #onelxn and #OntarioVotes all trending regularly. Each time one of these hashtags is used, a Twitter emoji is unlock to bring some added colour to the conversation.

Insights from the #OntarioVotes Conversation on Twitter

 

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The first televised leaders’ debate (#CityVote) was hosted by CityNews (@CityNews) on Monday, May 7th and featured Wynne, Ford and Horwath in-studio plus Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner (@MikeSchreiner) using Twitter to virtually join the debate with real-time video responses.

Since the May 7th debate, Ford has been the most-mentioned party leader on Twitter. Here’s how the four leaders rank in Twitter mentions since May 7th:

  1. Ford
  2. Horwath
  3. Wynne
  4. Schreiner

Ford and Horwath have also seen considerable follower growth on Twitter during the #OntarioVotes campaign. During May 2018 alone, Ford’s Twitter following grew more than 26 per cent while Horwath’s grew more than 14 per cent.

The ebb and flow of the Twitter conversation in recent weeks also tells an interesting story of when Ontario voters became most vocal on Twitter. These are the three dates in recent weeks that saw the highest volume of #OntarioVotes conversation on the platform:

  1. Sunday, May 27 - Final televised leaders’ debate
  2. Saturday, May 26 - Advance voting begins
  3. Saturday, June 2 - Premier Wynne concedes that the Liberals will not win the election

These were the three election issues that earned the largest volume #onpoli conversation between May 7th and June 4th:

  1. Health care
  2. Environment & Energy
  3. Education & Schools

Live #OntarioVotes Content on Twitter

The #CityVote debate was one of several #OntarioVotes events that streamed live on Twitter during the campaign. Others included:

  1. The May 7th Youth Town Hall event from Toronto, hosted by the Laidlaw Foundation (@laidlawfdn) and streamed live by TVO’s The Agenda (@TheAgenda)
  2. The May 11th leaders’ debate from Parry Sound, hosted by the Federation of Northern Municipalities (@fonom_info) and streamed live by CP24 (@CP24)
  3. The May 27th televised leaders’ debate, hosted and streamed live by CBC (@CBCNews) with additional Twitter live streams from CPAC (@CPAC_TV), CTV (@CTVToronto), Global (@globalnewsTO) and TVO’s The Agenda (@TheAgenda)
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In other Twitter action on the campaign trail, both Horwath and Wynne visited the Twitter Canada for Twitter Q&As. With dozens of video responses shared live from our #BlueRoom, Q&As continue to be a popular tool for politicians and other notables to react and interact with the conversation on Twitter.

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For election night on June 7th, here are the Canadian broadcasters who have confirmed that they’ll be streaming their #OntarioVotes coverage live on Twitter:

  • CBC (@CBCNews)
  • CityNews (@CityNews)
  • TVO’s The Agenda (@TheAgenda)

Keep following key hashtags and party leaders on Twitter up to and including election day for the latest on #WhatsHappening in Ontario politics

 

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@jenniferhollett

Jennifer Hollett

‎@jenniferhollett‎

Head of News Partnerships, Twitter Canada