Election Update: Gaging Sentiments of Twitterers on Election Day

As part of our coverage of today’s election, we have been following Twitter to find out how often the parties and their respective leaders are mentioned on Twitter between 8am and 6pm Atlantic time. To gather this information we use queries like “vote <party name>” for parties and elxn41 (leader name OR leader twitter username OR party) to collect all tweets mentioning them. We  then ran the tweets collected through an automated sentiment analysis program to find the sentiments (positive/negative/neutral) associated with each of the tweets that mentioned a leader(s) name and/or their party. What we are finding is very interesting; the NDP are definitely dominating the chatter on the twittervese, there were 713 posts that mentioned “vote NPD” and 2379 votes that mentioned Layton himself. Other party leaders are following closely however. Stephen Harper has received 2016 mentions, Michael Ignatieff has 879, and Elizabeth May so far has 851 mentions. Duceppe seems to be lagging behind with only 308 tweets mentioning his name. The NDP is the most mentioned party, with all other parties being mentioned a lot less, ranging between 59 times (GPC) and 157 times (LPC, CPC).   It will be interesting to see if the sentiment expressed by twitterer will match with the results in days following after the election tonight.

Interestingly, although Harper gets mentioned a lot, tweets with his name have the highest negative sentiment; about 18.4% of them,while Elizabeth May’s and Jack Layton’s tweets have the lowest negativity; 5.2% and 8.9% respectively. As expected, the NDP and GPC have the most positivity attached to tweets about them; 54.9% and 54.2% respectively among all the analyzed data. A summary of these sentiments are in the graph below: