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Can Social Media Predict Election Results? Evidence from New Zealand

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Author Info

  • Michael P. Cameron

    ()
    (University of Waikato)

  • Patrick Barrett

    (University of Waikato)

  • Bob Stewardson

    (University of Waikato)

Abstract

The importance of social media for election campaigning has received a lot of attention recently. Using data from the 2011 New Zealand General Election and the size of candidates’ social media networks on Facebook and Twitter, we investigate whether social media is associated with election votes and probability of election success. Overall, our results suggest that there is a statistically significant relationship between the size of online social networks and election voting and election results. However, the size of the effect is small and it appears that social media presence will therefore only make a difference in closely contested elections.

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File URL: ftp://mngt.waikato.ac.nz/RePEc/wai/econwp/1308.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Waikato, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 13/08.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 31 May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:13/08

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Keywords: social media; elections; voting; New Zealand;

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  1. Conitzer, Vincent, 2012. "Should social network structure be taken into account in elections?," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 100-102.
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