POLITICS

Women More Engaged With Election Than Men, Facebook Says

Exclusive: Labor Party dominates online discussion.

25/05/2016 8:58 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:53 PM AEST
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Facebook data around week two of the campaign has been released

Week two of the eight-week election campaign has energised Australia's female population, according to Facebook, with women aged 35-44 dominating online discussion.

Data released to The Huffington Post Australia by Facebook showed social issues to be the hot topics during the second week of the campaign, easily outstripping the economy, the budget, foreign policy and welfare. Social issues -- the category Facebook lumps Aboriginal issues, immigration, abortion, same sex marriage, drugs, LGBTI issues, feminism and equal pay -- saw a massive spike compared to week one, after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's controversial comments about the literacy of refugees.

Facebook

Facebook said that week one of the campaign saw the male 25-34 demographic as the most engaged on the social media platform, but that group was left in the dust by the female 35-44 demographic last week.

Looking at the parties, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was mentioned in 80 percent of election conversations on the platform, but Facebook didn't say how much of that was positive or negative. Labor leader Bill Shorten was in 32 percent of conversations, with Nationals leader and deputy PM Barnaby Joyce at 17 percent and Greens leader Richard Di Natale at nine percent.

Pauline Hanson was mentioned in seven percent of discussions.

Facebook

But there is some good news for Labor, even though Shorten lags far behind Turnbull in the conversation-starting field:

"Whilst the majority of leader-related conversation has been about the Prime Minister, it is the Australian Labor Party that has generated the most comments," Facebook said in a statement.

Moving on to specific electorates, marginal and contested NSW seats are the most engaged. Macquarie, Robertson and Page are all held by Coalition MPs and classed as marginal seats by the Australian Electoral Commission, and come in at numbers one, two and four on the list of most engaged electorates. Grayndler, the inner-Sydney seat held by Labor stalwart Anthony Albanese, has a Greens challenger in Jim Casey; it has generated much discussion in Sydney media, including a controversial front page in the Daily Telegraph, and comes in at number three in the most engaged seats.

Facebook

Looking at the rest of the country, Facebook's heat map of electorates shows heated discussions in north Queensland, the north coast of NSW, and the southern tip of Tasmania.

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