Sunday, 7 February 2016

Adams, Kenny and Ross top Twitter chart at the start of GE16

Researchers at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics are tracking the Twitter engagement of all candidates in the 2016 General Election.

Insight’s data suggests that 88 per cent of declared candidates have an account.

Initial findings put Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams on top with almost 100,000 followers, more than twice that of his closest competitor, Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Shane Ross of Independent Alliance is in third place with 35,723 followers as of the first day of the official campaign, announced today (03/02/16).

Roughly a third of people in Ireland have a Twitter account.

The top 25 candidates, by numbers of Twitter followers, is detailed below. Other top Twitter candidates include Minister for Health Leo Varadkar, Sinn Fein Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald, Renua Leader Lucinda Creighton and the joint leader of the Social Democrats Stephen Donnelly. High performing independent candidates include Mick Wallace and Clare Daly.

Over the coming weeks researchers at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics will watch the engagement of all GE16 candidates, tracking growth in their follower numbers and activity on their Twitter pages. Using sentiment analysis tools developed by Insight, researchers will track key election issues as they emerge on the social networking platform.

Professor Derek Greene and Dr Georgiana Ifrim, lead investigators on the project, are hoping that the research will help voters and social media users to get a bird’s eye view of the general election campaign as it unfolds online.

“The Insight Centre represents a major investment by the Irish tax payer and through this project we hope to demonstrate the value that good data research can bring to the democratic process,” said Dr Ifrim.

Funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the Insight Centre was set up in 2013 to bring together the expertise of 400 data researchers across the country.

The Insight4Elections project involves a team of researchers across Insight at University College Dublin and Dublin City University. When using Insight4Elections data, please credit the Insight Centre for Data Analytics.


Twitter Username                           Full Name                     Twitter Followers
1.       GerryAdamsSF                                  Gerry Adams                       99167
2.       EndaKennyTD                                    Enda Kenny                        42065
3.       Shane_RossTD                                  Shane Ross                         35723
4.       campaignforleo                                    Leo Varadkar                     29792
5.       MaryLouMcDonald                         Mary Lou McDonald                24761
6.       simoncoveney                                  Simon Coveney                      21304
7.       LCreighton                                          Lucinda Creighton               20619
8.       DonnellyStephen                             Stephen Donnelly                  19653
9.       PearseDoherty                                 Pearse Doherty                      19554
10.   wallacemick                                        Mick Wallace                          19467
11.   AodhanORiordain                            Aodhan O’Riordain                  17321
12.   EamonRyan                                        Eamon Ryan                         15749
13.   MichealMartinTD                             Micheƃ¡l Martin                        15678
14.   CaseyPeterJ                                       Peter Casey                         14588
15.   joanburton                                         Joan Burton                           14574
16.   ClareDalyTD                                        Clare Daly                            13003
17.   FitzgeraldFrnc                                    Frances Fitzgerald                 12908
18.   RBoydBarrett                                     Richard Boyd Barrett              12511
19.   CathMurphyTD                                 Catherine Murphy                   11896
20.   paulmurphyAAA                                 Paul Murphy                            11688
21.   jerrybuttimer                                    Jerry Buttimer                            11629
22.   averilpower                                        Averil Power                            11101
23.   tonguelash                                         Aislinn T                               10822
24.   Paschald                                           Paschal Donohoe                10166
25.   seansherlocktd                                 Sean Sherlock                          9830