What’s On

The Indonesian Presidential Election, through Twitter lens

  • #TwitterElection enabled parties, politicians to connect with 52 mn strong youth vote

After a highly engaging month-long elections campaign, Indonesians went to the polls on July 9, 2014 to vote for the next President of Indonesia. As the world’s third largest democracy, Indonesia is also home to one of the largest users groups of social media, ranking among the top five user markets worldwide for Twitter. Around 30 per cent of the total electorate, or more than 52 million people, are first-time voters between 18-23 years old, so it is no surprise that parties and politicians used digital diplomacy and social networks such as Twitter to engage the youth vote. With nearly 95 million elections-related Tweets from the start of the year to today, this truly was the first-ever ‘Twitter Election’ in Indonesia.

Twitter users have had front row seat to the Indonesian Election. As the social media microblogging network analysed the high-intensity campaign period among political parties and the leading candidates, this is how the conversations around the parties, their leaders and voters took place on Twitter from June 4 to July 9, 2014.

Top 10 most-mentioned topics during the election campaign on Twitter:
1. Joko Widodo
2. Prabowo Subianto
3. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
4. Pemilu 2014 (Presidential Elections 2014)
5. PDIP (The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle – Jokow Widodo’s Party)
6. Ekonomi (Economy)
7. Demokrat (Democrat)
8. Korupsi (Corruption)
9. PKS (Prosperous Justice Party – a member of Prabowo Subianto’s Coalition)
10. Pilpres 2014 (Presidential Elections 2014)

Top 10 most-discussed elections issues on Twitter:
1. Ekonomi (Economy)
2. Korupsi (Corruption)
3. Pendidikan (Education)
4. Pembangunan (Development)
5. Reformasi (Reform)
6. Kedaulatan (Sovereignty)
7. Nasionalisme (Nationalism)
8. Pemberdayaan (Empowerment)
9. Penegakan Hukum (Law Enforcement)
10. Integrasi (Integration)

Twitter Accounts for Political Parties and Candidates:
Engaging the youth vote via Twitter has increased the influence and reach of the main political parties and Presidential candidates, too:
• @jokowi_do2 has reached 1.74 million followers as of July 9th, growing his follower base by 755,000 or 76% since the start of the year.
• @PDI_Perjuangan has 29,000 followers as of July 9th, an increase of 51,000 followers or 176% since the start of the year.
• @Prabowo08 has raced to more than 1 million followers as of July 9th, an increase of 531,000 followers or 110% from the start of the year.
• @Gerindra has nearly 58,000 followers as of July 9th, an increase of 115,000 followers or 200% since the start of the year.

(The data collated is as of 1:30pm, July 9th, Jakarta Time)

With the popularity of the two candidates, Prabowo Subianto (@Prabowo08) and Joko Widodo (@jokowi_do2), Indonesian voters used social media like Twitter to show their pride in using their right to vote as well as support for their favourite candidates.  Social media is helping many people, especially 52 million first-time voters, to be more active and knowledgeable about politics. Twitter saw voters enjoy and share the biggest ‘democratic festival’ in Indonesia by tweeting selfies of their inked fingers signifying their vote. Popular Indonesian personalities also used the platform to give their views on the elections.

Shireen Sungkar: Actress
Tweet: Everybody has their choice, no need to insult and find vices of the other candidate. its not certain that who you pick will be the right choice

Daniel Mananta: Presenter and MC
Tweet: Who ever the president will be, I hope Indonesia grows, not become divided by differences of opinion

Iwan Fals: Singer/Musician
Tweet: Lets pay close attention to the last debate. open your ears wide, use your mind and heart, as your basis to vote

Sherina: Popular singer/songwriter
Tweet: This is not the age where young people should be apathetic to their country. Lets go, #decidedtochooseJokowi

Ahmad Dhani: a popular/controversial musician
Tweet: If Prabowo is a human rights violator, its impossible that hes running for president. ..Megawati 2009

Raffi Ahmad: Actor and TV presenter
Tweet: I support Mr. Prabowo as a good President. Mr. Jokowi as a good Governor. If you agree, RT this tweet!

Noor Fathima Warsia

A veteran journalist in the Indian marketing, media and advertising fraternity, Noor Fathima Warsia took on the role of Group Editor -– APAC for Digital Market Asia in May 2013. Noor has focussed on tracking trends and developments in the Indian media industry.