Aussies love a good natter about our politicians, especially on social media. So much so that the hashtag #auspol is actually the third most used political hashtags globally. As the 2016 campaign nears the halfway point and the #ausvotes Twitter conversation heats up, a majority of Australian Twitter users in Australia say their vote is still up for grabs.
Almost six in ten (56 per cent) Twitter users are currently unsure of how they’ll vote on July 2, and with Twitter users much more likely to increase their interest in politics in the lead up to the election, it seems the social media giant is a pretty good place for the pollies to draw in supporters.
“Twitter has become the voice of democracy worldwide, and in Australia in particular we have a very engaged community of users who look to the platform for information, news and opinions on all things politics,” said Jonathan Harley, director media partnerships, Twitter Australia.
“#auspol is consistently one of the top trending hashtags globally, and with so many users still undecided on their vote, it is no surprise that party leaders and local candidates are using Twitter in the lead up to the July 2nd election to connect with and make themselves available to the people they need to reach.”
Twitter plays a role in helping users determine their vote
Nearly two thirds (59 per cent) of users say that reading about news or events on Twitter helps them formulate or reevaluate their views about politics or the election.
More than a third of users have reconsidered their views on a specific issue after using Twitter, while 22 per cent say they have changed their voting intention in response to something they saw on Twitter.
Not just political junkies
Twitter is largely (76 per cent) seen by users as a good way to discover the points of views of different people, with 70 per cent of users disagreeing that Twitter is mainly for political insiders.
Everyday Aussies are coming to Twitter to make politics more interesting and entertaining (59 per cent) and nearly one third (30 per cent) say Twitter makes politics easier to understand.
Twitter aids political discovery
Sixty percent of Twitter users say they are likely to read a political story or click a link in their Twitter timeline, with 26 per cent saying they find out about politics specifically from Twitter. Some 38 per cent say they have heard about political news elsewhere then come to Twitter to search for more information.
Six in ten users say Twitter has an important role to play in the democratic process, with three quarters of users identifying Twitter as a good way to discover the points of view of different parties and candidates.
Influence beyond Twitter
Twitter starts conversations: 65 per cent of Australian users have shown their friends something from Twitter in the past week. The research also shows that a third of those with 100 or more followers on Twitter follow politicians, while half of those with over 100 followers search for trending political topics, which suggests that influential Australians like journalists and bloggers are using Twitter to source information for stories that live beyond Twitter.
With #ausvotes off to a roaring start, and #auspol one of the most used political hashtags globally, the 2016 federal election is sure to play out live on Twitter.