What Triggered Facebook The Most During the NZ Election

Facebook, AKA, Old Shit Ripped from Reddit, was a hotbed this election. It helped sort friends from “Scum who only care about taxes”. Twitter on the other hand appeared to just be an optimistic Greens and Labour circlejerk which turned to grief the day after the election.

Overall 1 million people had generated 9.5 million interactions (this includes original posts, reactions, comments and shares) about the election on Facebook.

This may come as a surprise to some, considering Jacindamania but Jacinda Adern was the second most mentioned leader — she started out of 37% at the start of the campaign and remained at 37% at the end, after rising briefly to 43% of mentions during the campaign. It’s interesting to see how these stats would differ if she wasn’t brought into the election at the eleventh hour.

Bill English was the most mentioned politician on Facebook, steadily increasing his mentions from 44% of total mentions at the start of the campaign to 61%.

Winston Peters was the third most mentioned leader with 23% of mentions, almost doubling where he started which was in fifth position with 12% of mentions.

When it comes to discussion of parties, Labour was the most talked about, featuring in 68% of election-related conversations overall – though they had been as high as 72% in early September.

National and the Greens were second equal on 35% (National increasing from 20% in August and overtaking the Greens during September. By comparison, the Greens were second on 44% in August).

The Maori Party were fourth on 20%, a place they held consistently over the last two months. However this didn’t eventuate to any votes for the poor party, who failed to enter parliament. New Zealand First are fifth overall on 10%, however in August they were sixth on just 3%.

Political newcomer, The Opportunities Party, appeared in 8% of interactions, coming sixth overall, and ahead of ACT on 3%.

For the seven months leading up to Election 17, topics related to Budget (ie taxation, government debt, spending and revenue) generated the most interactions (54%).

At second equal most popular on 46% each were Social Development-related topics (which include mentions of child welfare, unemployment and child poverty), and Economy-related topics (which includes mentions of jobs and earthquake recovery). Prior to the Budget in May, mid-way through the period, Social Development ranked fifth, behind Housing and Education which subsequently dropped in terms of interactions.

Housing-related topics (which includes mentions of housing, house prices, foreign buyers and homelessness) were fourth overall, closely followed by Education-related topics at fifth most popular, on 36%.

Now that the election is over we’re moving into election 2.0, otherwise known as “Winston Peters Time In the Sun”.

About the Author

Izak Flash
Entertainment writer and illustrator. He holds the conch, so he gets to speak. Send him abuse on twitter at @Izak_Flash