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Can Social Media Predict Election Results? Evidence from New Zealand

Michael Cameron, Patrick Barrett and Bob Stewardson
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Patrick Barrett: University of Waikato
Bob Stewardson: University of Waikato

Working Papers in Economics from University of Waikato

Abstract: The importance of social media for election campaigning has received a lot of attention recently. Using data from the 2011 New Zealand General Election and the size of candidates’ social media networks on Facebook and Twitter, we investigate whether social media is associated with election votes and probability of election success. Overall, our results suggest that there is a statistically significant relationship between the size of online social networks and election voting and election results. However, the size of the effect is small and it appears that social media presence will therefore only make a difference in closely contested elections.

Keywords: social media; elections; voting; New Zealand (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 L82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 16 pages
Date: 2013-05-31
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-cul, nep-cwa, nep-pol and nep-soc
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3)

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