Do Twitter or Facebook Followers Predict Quebec Election Results?

Do Twitter or Facebook Followers Predict Quebec Election Results?Always lots of chatter about how social media plays a role in elections. You know, social media was the ONLY reason US President Barack Obama and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi won their posts.

There is even a theory that the candidate with the most Facebook followers or Likes will win.

In November 2011 three mayoral Candidates who I supported and assisted all won and all had the greatest number of Facebook followers versus their opponents.

During April 2012 in British Columbia there were two Provincial byelections  to elect Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs).  My study on Facebook Likes from those BC byelections not only told who would win, but who would place second, third and even fourth!

Later that same month, I again used social media follower counts to predict the first, second and third place Parties in the Alberta election.

Curious, ain’t it?

So as we have seen from my extensive examples above, social media can elect a President, a couple of MLAs, an English speaking Premier and a bunch of Mayors…but how about the results from an entire election in Quebec? Can the social media prowess of Party Leaders and their Party determine who will run an entire French speaking province?

Thankfully tonight we had a General Election in Quebec so we can test out some social media theories.

While there were twenty different Parties running in the election, I focused on the Leaders of just three main Parties. I did this in order to ensure the data would be carefully collected, analyzed and displayed for you – my loyal readers – to digest in a timely manner. Totally has nothing to do with my not being interested in spending time researching fringe Parties in a Province where I do not even live. Nope, this was all about helping YOU out. You’re welcome.

With that in mind, the three Leaders and Parties as subjects in this piece are: François Legault – Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ); Pauline Marois – Parti Québécois (PQ); and the incumbent Jean Charest – Liberals.

So here is my methodology (which is Latin for “stuff I did to collect the data you are about to read”): At 9am Monday (the day of the election) I wrote down most of the numbers you will see in the chart at the bottom of the post from the candidate’s FacebookTwitterKlout and Status People Fake Followers sites. I also used Topsy to get some of the cumulative figures over the 30 days leading up to yesterday. The election results were recorded AFTER the election. The goal here is to see if Facebook Likes or the number of Twitter followers by the Leaders of the Parties determine the overall Quebec election results. Hope you were able to follow my awesome research techniques.

FINDINGS

Only one of the three Leaders of the main Parties (François Legault) had a Twitter account, so I instead used the main Party Twitter accounts in this study.

I also should have included a fourth party – Québec Solidaire – who picked up two seats (see chart below) which I will do when Quebec goes back to the polls in 2013 (yes, I am predicting that).

It appears the outcome of this election confirms that yes indeed, the number of Twitter followers “predicted” not only the winner and also confirmed Quebec would have a minority government. Ironically most of the pollsters – including Forum Research (motto “Sure we got Vancouver wrong and Alberta wrong but we’ll get it right in Quebec. @#$% not again!”) who said the PQ would gain a majority government with 72 seats.

Facebook Likes determined that the Liberals would be second with CAQ in third while Twitter followers said the opposite. This is known as the “poutine conundrum” ™. You see, not everyone likes poutine and that can create confusion and difference of opinions – just as we saw with Facebook and Twitter choosing the correct first place Party finisher, but differing on the second and third.

All the other social media measures had the PQ dominating – including 8.4 times the Facebook Likes than the next closest Party, more than double the engagement measures and the highest Klout score.

CONCLUSIONS

Social media is a valuable tool in recruiting, engaging and activating volunteers, supporters and voters. It seems the more Twitter followers and Facebook Likes a Party receives in Quebec is indicative of the final voting results for the Party. Therefore campaigns must have a thoughtful, Team based social media stratedgy in place which is used well before the election is announced and of course during the election period. Campaigns still fail to engage on social media and while more difficult to quantify, anecdotal evidence indicates that even though engagement was poor, the rankings in that area would be the same for the above candidates as the final voting results.

Since the parties placed in the roughly the same order (1st PQ; 2nd Liberals; and 3rd CAQ) as Twitter followers and exactly in the order of Facebook likes, this may highlight the differences between the Parties on the importance of social media in their election / communications / engagement planning.

Social media so totally and obviously leads the way in electing our Leaders. This continued failure to integrate social media into the success of a campaign will limit a Party’s growth. #DaveLogic

So what do you think? Is the “Facebook Likes / Twitter followers equals final results” just a coincidence? Or is it an obvious measure of a candidate’s popularity which translates into votes? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

2012 Quebec Election - the Leaders

François Legault - CAQPauline Marois - PQJean Charest - Lib
Facebook Likes / Rank3,930 / 3
85,981 / 110,212 / 2
% of Total Candidate Likes3.9%85.8%10.2%
Talking About / Rank2,661 / 379,976 / 12,749 / 2
Twitter Followers / Rank11,320 / 219,861 / 110,360 / 3
% of Total Candidate Followers27.3%47.8%24.9%
Twitter Updates / Rank1,840 / 37,881 / 12,217 / 2
% of Total Candidate Updates15.4%66.0%18.6%
Twitter Replies to Candidate / Rank
(see chart below)
2,181 / 37,448 / 13,235 / 2
% of Total Candidate Mentions17.0%57.9%25.1%
% of Fake Twitter Followers17%18%17%
Klout / Rank66.81 / 271.46 / 167.88 / 3
Number of the 125 Seats Projected in Relation to Facebook Likes510713
Number of the 125 Seats Projected in Relation to Twitter Followers346031
Actual number of the 125 Seats Earned195450
Total Party Votes / Rank1,180,758 / 31,393,540 / 11,361,618 / 2
% of Total Party Votes
22,948 of 22,948 Polls Reporting
27.06%31.94%31.21%

NOTE: Clicking on the orange links in the chart above will take you to the Leaders’ Facebook or Twitter pages.

Do Twitter or Facebook Followers Predict Quebec Election Results?

About Dave

Dave Teixeira is President of Dave.ca Communications Inc.

4 Responses to Do Twitter or Facebook Followers Predict Quebec Election Results?

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