Social media highlights key election issues, foreshadows election result

The latest data from realtime media monitoring provider Streem has revealed some significant distinctions between the most prominent campaign issues covered by traditional outlets, versus online.

The divergence in priorities is of particular interest given that 44.5% of all election coverage originated online – close to equal that of the number of unique election stories attributed to TV, radio and print combined.

According to Streem’s data, environment and employment both ranked as the top two election issues across all media, though flipped in terms of priority. However, there was significant divergence when it came to other issues.

While traditional media counted the economy, health, and education as some of the more prominent issues, social media favoured integrity and corruption, women and COVID. The divergence here, as well as the strong lead of environment as the top issue on social media, could be seen to have foreshadowed the drivers of the result of the Election, with the issues more prominent on social media having been key campaign issues addressed by teal independents, the Green and the ALP.

Streem has also revealed that while Scott Morrison successfully held a higher share of voice throughout 2022, and for much of the election campaign, Anthony Albanese was ultimately able to close the gap in the final weeks of the campaign.

While data from January 1st 2022 to May 21st 2022 shows that Morrison dominated share of voice with 63% (compared to Albanese’s 37%), the election campaign itself only saw Morrison ahead by around 10%, with 54.5% share, versus Albanese’s 45.5%.

Despite the skew in total share of voice for party leaders leaning in the favour of Morrison, Labor consistently outscored the Coalition on media coverage cumulatively. Streem data indicated that while the ALP and its frontbenchers scored a 52.8% share of voice during the campaign, compared to the Coalition and its frontbenchers, on a 47.2% share of voice.

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Jack McLintock, Streem’s communications lead, said: “Saturday’s Federal Election was an earthquake for Australian politics, with the data behind it proving equally significant.

“A split in the issues most talked-about in traditional media compared to social media, and a closing of the gap by Anthony Albanese on Scott Morrison’s share of voice, hinted at the monumental outcome we saw unfold on Saturday night.”


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