The nomination process has come and gone; the election season is in the air. In about 10 days, we will be going to the polls to choose our next government. And it’s a pretty big decision to make for the millions of eligible voters amongst us.
While social media may not be a great predictor of the election results, it has played a huge role in the past few elections — it is the place to get breaking news, to hold discussions, and also to connect with the parties and politicians themselves. It’s 2015; almost everyone is on Facebook and Twitter, right?
And Twitter has released data that has only served to reinforce the power of social media. Since the revised electoral boundaries were announced on 24 July and up to 31 August, there has been a 300% increase in elections-related conversation on Twitter, compared to the 39-day period preceding it. According to Twitter, last week alone saw over 52,000 elections-related conversations on Twitter with a spike in tweets on 25 August when Parliament was dissolved and the writ of election issued.
And amongst poison pen letters and Facebook fails, Twitter has found that the Workers’ Party (WP) has topped the trending-on-Twitter list with more mentions than all the other opposition parties combined. With the WP contesting 28 seats in the elections and fielding teams in constituencies like Aljunied and East Coast, they clearly have all eyes — and tweets — on them.
But while they are currently 1.4 times more widely discussed than the People’s Action Party (PAP), the campaigning period has yet to start — which means we’ve yet to see their actual social media strategies in all their glory.
According to Rishi Jaitly, Twitter’s Vice President of Media, Asia Pacific and Middle East, “The majority of our users in Singapore are actively seeking information and different views about #GE2015 so that they can make an informed decision on who to vote for. Twitter enables Singaporeans to get real-time election updates and feel the pulse of the election through authentic connections between politicians and voters, through live Tweets and now, for the first-time, even live video broadcasts via Periscope.”
If you’re looking to keep tabs on the parties, individuals, and news this upcoming campaigning season, here are a list of resources you can start with:
- People’s Action Party: @PAPSingapore (https://twitter.com/PAPSingapore)
- Workers’ Party: @wpsg (https://twitter.com/wpsg)
- The Reform Party: @thereformparty (https://twitter.com/thereformparty)
- Singapore Democratic Party: @yourSDP (https://twitter.com/yourSDP)
- National Solidarity Party: @nsp_sg (https://twitter.com/nsp_sg)
- Singaporeans First Party: @SFPSingapore (https://twitter.com/SFPSingapore)
- Democratic Progressive Party: @dpp_sg (https://twitter.com/dpp_sg)
- Singapore People’s Party: @sgpeoplesparty (https://twitter.com/sgpeoplesparty)
- People’s Power Party: @PeoplesPowerSG (https://twitter.com/PeoplesPowerSG)
- Lee Hsien Loong: @leehsienloong (https://twitter.com/leehsienloong)
- Ken Jeyaretnam: @KenJeyaretnam (https://twitter.com/KenJeyaretnam)
- Chee Soon Juan: @CheeSoonJuan (https://twitter.com/CheeSoonJuan)
- Sylvia Lim: @sylvialimwp (https://twitter.com/sylvialimwp)
- Lina Chiam: @linachiam (https://twitter.com/linachiam)
- Tan Jee Say: @JeeSayTan (https://twitter.com/JeeSayTan)
Key elections-related hashtags/terms:
- Singapore politics