This federal election has seen social media play a key role in capturing the hearts and minds of voters all over Australia. With the ability to reach millions of people, it’s easy to see why so many pollies have embraced Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and pretty much every other platform they can get their hands on in an effort to win votes.
With just one more sleep until Australia chooses its next prime minster, let’s take a look at some social media wins and fails the election has gifted us with.
Win – Bill Shorten Claims Victory at First Ever Facebook Leaders Debate
In one of their final showdowns before the election, Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull faced off in a leader’s debate hosted at Facebook Headquarters in Sydney. While our prime ministerial candidates argued about issues such as marriage equality, housing affordability and company tax cuts, over 100,000 people tuned in to watch as the debate streamed live on Facebook. The event got a huge response on social media, resulting in thousands of comments and likes, with Bill Shorten declared the winner.
Win – James Mathison Takes on Tony Abbott
Regardless of whether you’ll think he’ll make a good MP, there’s no denying James Mathison nailed the publicity side of his foray into politics. The former Australian Idol host announced his intention to run against ousted prime minister Tony Abbott in the inner Sydney seat of Warringa via a video posted on Facebook. It has since been viewed over 700,000 times, surpassing every video any of the major political parties have managed to come up with during the election.
Fail – Malcolm Turnbull Slays Social Media Compared to Bill Shorten
Bill Shorten may have won the Facebook Leaders Debate, but he has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to his social media following. From Facebook to Instagram, Malcolm Turnbull outstrips him on every major platform. Check out the disparity of these figures:
Malcolm Turnbull – 629k followers
Bill Shorten – 147k followers
Malcolm Turnbull – 298,656 likes
Bill Shorten – 140,671 likes
Malcolm Turnbull – 61.6k followers
Bill Shorten – 8908 followers
Even Tony Abbott has more Instagram followers than Bill Shorten!
Fail – George Christensen Withdraws Donation
In a since deleted Facebook post, North Queensland Federal MP George Christensen pledged to donate $12,000 to a turtle rescue centre if he was re-elected. Following this somewhat conditional act of generosity, the LNP Member for Dawson was referred to the Australian Electoral Commission by the left wing activist group Get Up over bribery concerns. He has since withdrawn the donation “to avoid confusion.”
Win – Politicians Realise the Power of Snapchat
With Snapchat fast becoming one of the most powerful social media platforms in the world, politicians are jumping on the bandwagon. Malcolm Turnbull recently signed up for an account, sharing his first ever snap on May 12. The Liberals have even created a sponsored filter just in time for the election, featuring the words “VOTE LIBERAL.”