As the People’s Action Party (PAP) returned to power in a sweeping victory, social media played a key role in the 2015 Singapore General Elections. Let us look at the key statistics on how the elections shaped up on social media.
On Polling Day, 11 September, a total of 225,000 people, or six per cent of the total number of active Facebook users in Singapore, have had 550,000 interactions as part of election-related conversations. For the campaigning period and polling day, from 1 – 11 September, saw 460,000 people making 2.7 million interactions, representing 12 per cent of active Facebook users in Singapore. In total, from the drawing of the electoral boundaries till polling day, 24 July – 11 September, 810,000 people had 7.6 million interactions, representing 22 per cent of the 3.5 million active people (as of June 2015) on Facebook in Singapore.
From September 1-11, there were more than 170,000 conversations by Singaporeans around elections on Twitter. The highest peaks took place on the first and last days of the campaigning period, while daily conversations covered the candidates’ actions and words, to bread-and-butter social issues like immigration, to funny moments on the campaign trail.
In total, 53,563 people shared that they intended to vote with their friends on Facebook using the megaphone feature. 1.6 million people in total received the megaphone call-out to voice their intention to vote.
Women aged 35-44 were the top demographic on Facebook based on engagement on Polling Day. They were followed by men aged 35-44, women aged 25-34, women aged 45-54 and men aged 45-54.
Education, CPF / retirement and cost of living were the top topics on Facebook on Polling day, just like the days in build up to the election. The other topics included transport, Lee Kuan Yew, Temasek / GIC, elderly, housing, AHPETC and SMRT.
People’s Action Party was also the top performing political party on Facebook on Polling Day. It was followed by Singapore Democratic Party, Workers’ Party, The Reform Party and SingFirst.
Vivian Balakrishnan, PAP was the top performing politician on Facebook on Polling Day followed by Lee Hsien Loong (PAP). The others included Chee Soon Juan, Singapore Democratic Party; Tin Pei Ling, PAP; Han Hui Hui, Independent; Lim Swee Say, PAP and Halimah Yacob, PAP.
However, on Twitter, the Workers’ Party led the rankings on the most mentioned parties of #GE2015, followed by PAP ans Singapore Democratic Party. The Worker’s Party (WP) was the most discussed party on Twitter during the campaigning period with daily spikes on conversations around their nightly rallies.
At the start of the campaigning period, the Workers’ Party was 1.4 times more widely discussed than the People’s Action Party (PAP). But by the end of the campaigning period, the PAP had nearly closed the gap with a steadier drumbeat of conversation on Twitter.
Meanwhile, the Singapore Democratic Party moved up to the third spot with a strong Twitter reaction for Chee Soon Juan’s first rally speech in 15 years on September 3 as well as his lunchtime rally speech in the CBD area on September 7.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong remained the most widely discussed political party leader on Twitter before and during the campaign period. Chee Soon Juan jumped up to the second spot based on his positively received speeches and public appearances during the campaigning period, yet still only reached half the level of PM Lee.