#Leadersdebate: A preliminary analysis

| 0 comments

Hosted by Stuff.co.nz and The Press, the much-awaited Leaders Debate was held last night. Tracy Watkins (@tracy_watkins), political editor at Fairfax Media, remembered how the Christchurch Press leaders debate gave the 2011 campaign its defining moment when John Key floored Phil Goff with the line “show me the money”. She added: “After a brutal campaign where allegations of dirty politics, and secret deals have ruled the headlines, the leaders finally get the chance to go head to head in an old-fashioned town hall style debate that won’t be repeated again on the campaign trail. ”

How did kiwi tweeps react around the country tonight? Where did the tweets originated from? What was the their sentiment towards the two heavy weights during and right after the debate?

 

At 7:48 p.m., the country looked like this from the twittersphere:

scatter-map-leadersdebate-aug28-7.50pm

 

 

The hashtag #leadersdebate soon went to the top of the trending topics with a very intense activity especially at 8:00 p.m., as it can be seen in the following chart:

Activity chart for the #leadersdebate hashtag

Activity chart for the #leadersdebate hashtag

 

 

Who was tweeting? How influential were they? How much impact they generated?

Ranking of contributors to the hashtag #leadersdebate

Ranking of contributors to the hashtag #leadersdebate

 

 

But it’s not just about sheer numbers. What was the sentiment reflected by the tweets? Who won in the sentiment scale?

Comparative histogram showing sentiment during and right after the debate

Comparative histogram showing sentiment during and right after the debate

 

 

After 1198 tweets, nearly half the words had a positive sentiment, with Cunliffe being not only the most tweeted, but with the best sentiment score.

Sentiment analysis wordcloud of tweets during and right after the debate

Sentiment analysis wordcloud of tweets during and right after the debate