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Insight4Elections #LeadersDebate: Who gained the most Twitter followers?

Press Release 16/02/2016


For Immediate Release


Insight4Elections #LeadersDebate: Who gained the most Twitter followers?


Stephen Donnelly the big winner on Twitter


No real winner has been declared in last night’s leaders’ debate on RTE. However there was one participant who won in the popularity stakes at least. Researchers from the Insight Centre for Data Analytics have been crunching the Twitter numbers as part of their Insight4Elections data analysis project and they found that Stephen Donnelly, leader of the Social Democrats gained a remarkable 1,457 Twitter followers last night, about two thirds more than his closest rival Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit who gained 555.


Gerry Adams gathered 308 while the other leaders trailed far behind: Lucinda Creighton (+181 followers), Micheál Martin (+157 followers), Enda Kenny (+125 followers) and Joan Burton (+105 followers).


Donnelly’s relative popularity also translated to his party the Social Democrats who gained over 400 followers in the same period, double that of most of its rival parties.


The deputy leaders’ debate on TV3 inspired less activity overall, but Mary Lou McDonald gained three times as many followers as her closest rival, Labour Deputy Leader Alan Kelly.


Insight4Elections is a publicly available web tool where users can crunch the numbers for themselves. You can find the link here.


Who got the approval of the Twitterati last night?


Stephen Donnelly – +1457 followers

Richard Boyd Barrett - +555 followers

Gerry Adams – +308 followers

Lucinda Creighton - +181 followers

Micheal Martin - +157 followers

Enda Kenny - +125 followers

Joan Burton – +105 followers


How did the deputy leaders fare?


Mary Lou McDonald - +104 followers

Alan Kelly - +31 followers

Barry Cowen - +10 followers

James Reilly - +8 followers


Which parties have people been following in the past 24 hours?


Social Democrats - +424 followers

Sinn Fein - +165 followers

Fianna Fail – +129 followers

Green Party - +126 followers

Renua - +114 followers

Fine Gael - +113 followers

Labour - +69 followers

People Before Profit - +60 followers


See graph attached.


Notes for the editor:


The Insight Centre for Data Analytics is an SFI funded data science research centre. The biggest centre of its kind in Ireland and one of the largest in Europe, Insight has more than 350 researchers who are based in four sites - DCU, NUI Galway, UCC and UCD.


Press Release
Publication Date: 
Tuesday, 16 February, 2016