Full Duplex has partnered with Abacus Data to provide complementary analysis of the Ontario election. Abacus Data is conducting online surveys using more traditional polling methodologies. Full Duplex is conducting analysis of Ontario election activity using Sysomos Heartbeat and MAP, and our own proprietary analysis tool, Compass.

On Monday we examined election activity observed online up to and including June 1. We noted new participants continue to join the election chatter, though the number of highly engaged participants has long ago reached its apparent peak. Yesterday we shared a breakdown of activity and sentiment associated with the leaders between May 26 and June 1, in which we see the number of mentions does not necessarily indicate the overall degree of support. Today we look at issues and how they’re playing out online.

This week’s analysis looks at May 26 through June 1, inclusive.

Most mentioned issues

The issues within the top five most-discussed issues in online chatter remains the same. However, there has been a minor reshuffling of position at the lower levels. Employment and education continue to lead the top of the list with employment dominating chatter (39% share of the top five issues, up 4% since last week).

Otherwise, taxes move from third position to fifth, and energy and economy each shift up on position (energy from fourth to third and economy from fifth to fourth).

140601-VoteON-topissues

The following table compares the top five most mentioned issues in online chatter both including mentions of and by leaders, and those which make no mention of the leaders. It’s noteworthy that the top five issues are the same in both cases even if the ordering of the issues (based on volume of mentions) is different.

 Issues
All online activity
Issues
Without mentions of leaders
Issue #1EmploymentEmployment
Issue #2EducationEnergy
(was Taxes)
Issue #3Energy
(was Taxes)
Education
(was Energy)
Issue #4Economy
(was Energy)
Healthcare
(was Education)
Issue #5Taxes
(was Economy)
Economy

Most mentioned issues by leader

The most mentioned issues in combination with mentions of the leaders presents a number of variations on the top five election issues. As noted above, employment is the dominant issue so it’s not surprising this issue tops the list for all big three leaders.

Saturation of mentions does not necessarily suggest particular expressions of sentiment. In the case of Tim Hudak, for example, mentions of his policies with respect to employment and education have come under a healthy amount of online criticism. This is particularly evident by the hashtags #Hudak8 and #HudakMath which were used to poke fun at Tim Hudak and his Million Jobs Plan after news broke that economists have identified the use of flawed elementary math in the plans calculations. Mentions of the economy are not particularly favourable towards Kathleen Wynne, and many people have expressed concern Andrea Horwath’s policies will result in an increase in taxes.

This of course is all BEFORE last night’s debate. We’ll publish a quick analysis of the debate results shortly.

 Kathleen Wynne
(OLP)
Tim Hudak
(PCO)
Andrea Horwath
(NDP)
Mike Schreiner
(GPO)
Issue #1EmploymentEmploymentEmploymentEducation
Issue #2Energy
(was Economy)
EducationEnergy
(was Education)
Energy
(was Local Beer)
Issue #3Education
(was Energy)
EconomyEducation
(was Energy)
Environment
(was Employment)
Issue #4Economy
(was Taxes)
EnergyTaxes
(was Healthcare)
Employment
(was Environment)
Issue #5Taxes
(was Education)
TaxesHealthcare
(was Taxes)
Economy
(was Taxes)

Not making the cut or surprisingly few mentions

Once again, Dalton McGuinty and his legacy couldn’t put him in the top 10 most-discussed election issues between May 26 and June 1. Even last Friday’s announcement of charges in connection with the Ornge air disaster couldn’t make it happen.

And the ring of fire mentions in the debate? Nothing. Seniors? Fewer mentions than the ring of fire. Childcare? Less chatter than seniors?

Shall we keep going? Auto insurance? Accountability Minister? Toll roads?

That’s right. None of those captured the attention of the online chattering class.

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