#elxn42 on Twitter

The 2015 federal election has seen a massive increase in social media activity from the previous federal election in 2011. In 2012 the number of active Twitter users in Canada reached 3.3 million with a projected increase of more than 100 per cent to 6.8 million users for 2015, according to Statista. By 2018 it is estimated that there will be 8.5 million Twitter users in Canada.

During the 42nd federal election campaign, the hashtag #elxn42 surpassed the popular #cdnpoli, a shorthand for Canadian politics, in frequency with approximately 943,000 tweets with #elxn42 and approximately 711,000 with #cdnpoli being tweeted between September 13 and October 12, 2015. The below graphs allow a comparison of the Twitter trends with major polling data from CBC’s Poll Tracker and with the tweets associated with the names of the five main party leaders.

Federal election Poll Tracker
Graph illustrating trends from CBC’s Poll Tracker which combines data from all major public opinion polls into a weighted average.


Canadian politics hashtags
Graph illustrating the frequency of popular hashtags associated with the 2015 federal election from Sept. 13 to Oct. 12. This graph tends to show spikes on days when a leaders’ debate occurred (eg: The Globe and Mail debate on Sept. 16, the French language debate on Sept. 24, the Munk debate on Sept. 28, and the second French language debate on Oct. 2). There is a steady increase in the frequency of tweets as the election date of Oct. 19 approaches.


Party leaders on Twitter
Graph illustrating the frequency with which each party leaders’ name was tweeted from Sept. 13 to Oct. 12. This graph tends to show spikes on days when a leaders’ debate occurred.


Worldwide trending topics
Graph illustrating the frequency of tweets associated with political topics that had a worldwide impact from Sept. 13 to Oct. 12.