The Social #Election2013 begins with #Budget2013

The Social #Election2013 begins with #Budget2013
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In the first of a regular series building up to September's Federal election, We Are Social's Michael Batistich looks at the social media buzz from the Federal budget, and finds it even outdid One Direction.

The social media election kicked off in earnest on Tuesday with the Federal budget delivering its most controversial budget yet.

The budget sparked 65,000 open social conversations (not including Facebook) and had even overtaken One Direction-er @NiallOfficial as the hottest topic on Twitter.   

At the centre of the budget conversation was the deficit blowout and the path to surplus. The second biggest issue was the abolition of the baby bonus.

This rather comical tweet by news.com.au was the most shared message, highlighting an evolutionary step for the media tone of voice.

To mark the beginning of a more socialised election, the pollies were also hitting home their messages though social media.

In this tweet Joe Hockey suggests that Wayne Swan may have received inspiration for the $100 billion nation-building plan from political comedy series The Hollowmen.

Penny Wong's tweet was wrapped in a sharp factoid and was also shared widely.

Sentiment for the budget was mixed with negative statements about the Budget / ALP outweighing positive by 3-to-1. 

Of all the platforms reviewed, the tone of conversation was the most negative on Twitter, where people tend to be more politically engaged and more partisan.

As social engagement heats up and with politicians injecting themselves into the social debate, #Election2013 is shaping up to be the social story of the year. 

Whilst social is not yet a proxy of the electorate, it will be fascinating to watch the Australian election conversation in the lead up to that one day in September.

To keep you up-to-date, We Are Social will provide an ongoing analysis of the conversation for B&T. Will it be Australia's first truly social election, or a bust?

How do you rate the Federal Budget? Leave your comments below.

Michael Batistich is head of insights and analytics for We Are Social

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