Global Politics on Twitter

Global Politics on Twitter

Study by Portland reveals that elections around the world play out on Twitter

Portland’s new study ranks the most followed, active and discussed politicians on Twitter

Elections drive the political conversation on Twitter. The US, Mexican and Venezuelan elections were among the most discussed issues by politicians on Twitter around the world, according a new study on Twitter use by politicians.

Barack Obama was the most mentioned politician in the world, followed closely by Venezuelan Presidential rivals Henrique Carpriles Radonski and Hugo Chávez. US Presidential nominee Mitt Romney came in at sixth most discussed, behind Egypt’s Dr. Hazem Abdelazim and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa.

Using data collected between July and October 2012, Portland developed top 20 rankings for the most followed, most active and most mentioned politicians on Twitter. The study also monitored tweets by politicians to build an understanding of trending issues.

The study – Global Politics on Twitter – released today by Portland found that the US election was a major trend among politicians on Twitter, with RomneyObama and debates among the most common keywords tracked.

The study also reveals that:

  • US President Barack Obama is the most followed politician on Twitter but still falls behind top tweeps such as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. The top five most followed politicians is rounded out by Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Abdullah Gül (Turkey), Felipe Calderόn (Mexico) and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Turkey)
  • The most active politician on Twitter is Egypt’s Dr. Hazem Abdelazim, who tweeted 13,971 times during the period of study. Other most active politicians include Adonis Georgiades (Greece), Maria José Lubertino (Argentina), Nguyễn Tán Dũng (Viet Nam) and Fernández Noroña (Mexico)
  • Barack Obama is the most mentioned politician on Twitter, followed by Henrique Capriles Radonski (Venezuela), Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Hazem Abdelazim (Egypt) and Rafael Correa (Ecuador)
  • The only British politician in the top lists is Labour MP for Hull East, Karl Turner, who posted nearly 6,000 tweets during the three month period
  • Over half of the most discussed politicians on Twitter are from Latin American countries, including Venezuela, Ecuador and Argentina. Nearly one third of the most followed politicians in the world are also Latin American, as are two fifths of the most active
  • Other top trends followed during the study included #BahrainBrasil, #LebanonVenezuela and #Chávez

Mark Flanagan, Portland’s Partner for Digital Communications, said: “Twitter has fundamentally changed how politics is discussed around the world. In a world where citizens expect openness and access to their leaders, Twitter lets them engage directly with their political leaders.”

A hi-res infographic of the top 20 most followed, most active and most mentioned can be found here: Global Politics on Twitter

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