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Can Social Media Predict Election Results? Evidence from New Zealand

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael P. Cameron & Patrick Barrett & Bob Stewardson, 2013. "Can Social Media Predict Election Results? Evidence from New Zealand," Working Papers in Economics 13/08, University of Waikato.
  • Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:13/08
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    File URL: ftp://sys-dmzhost.its.waikato.ac.nz/wai/econwp/1308.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Vowles, Jack, 2010. "Electoral System Change, Generations, Competitiveness and Turnout in New Zealand, 1963–2005," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(4), pages 875-895, October.
    2. Chad Kendall & Marie Rekkas, 2012. "Incumbency advantages in the Canadian Parliament," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 45(4), pages 1560-1585, November.
    3. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Blazquez, Desamparados & Domenech, Josep, 2018. "Big Data sources and methods for social and economic analyses," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 99-113.
    2. Maria Glenski & Tim Weninger & Svitlana Volkova, 2019. "Improved Forecasting of Cryptocurrency Price using Social Signals," Papers 1907.00558, arXiv.org.
    3. Md Safiullah & Pramod Pathak & Saumya Singh & Ankita Anshul, 2016. "Social Media In Managing Political Advertising: A Study Of India," Polish Journal of Management Studies, Czestochowa Technical University, Department of Management, vol. 13(2), pages 121-130, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    social media; elections; voting; New Zealand;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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