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.

So far when we’ve looked at chatter about the 2014 Ontario election, our efforts have been concentrated on Twitter. During the week of May 26 to June 1, inclusive, Twitter represented 92.8% of online election chatter so it makes sense to focus specifically on that platform. However, in an effort to dig deeper into the data we’ve been collecting, we’ve decided to compare what is happening on Twitter to what is also happening on Facebook.

This week’s analysis looks at online election activity from May 26 through June 1.

Tim Hudak has the greatest share of mentions on both platforms

Of all four party leaders, Tim Hudak received the largest number of mentions on both Facebook and Twitter. On Facebook, however, Hudak is not quite as far ahead of the other leaders as he is on Twitter (41% of mentions vs. 58% of mentions on Twitter). The main difference between overall mentions of party leaders on Twitter and Facebook has to do with Andrea Horvath and Kathleen Wynne. Where Andrea Horvath had the second largest share of mentions on Twitter (20%), Kathleen Wynne received the second largest share of mentions on Facebook (35%).

Less negativity on Facebook

The volume of mentions for all four leaders was significantly smaller on Facebook than it was on Twitter.


Sentiment of online chatter about the four party leaders is largely similar on Twitter and Facebook, however there are a few differences where each of the leaders are concerned.

On Facebook, Kathleen Wynne received a smaller volume of negative mentions (57%) than she did on Twitter (61%). The same is also true for Tim Hudak (64% on Facebook vs. 84% on Twitter) and Andrea Horvath (21% on Facebook vs. 33% on Twitter). Mike Schreiner is the one exception here: on Twitter, Schreiner received only 3% negative mentions, while he received 7% negative mentions on Facebook. One thing to note is that there was a limited number of mentions of Mike Schreiner on Facebook and the sample was therefore smaller than the rest.

Though three of the leaders received a smaller volume of negative mentions on Facebook than they did on Twitter, that does not mean they received more positive mentions than they did on Twitter. What happens instead on Facebook is individuals posting links to various news articles about the election without adding any other commentary. Another key difference in platform usage is that individuals on Twitter are much quicker to share their political affiliations, while on Facebook an individual’s political leanings can be more difficult to decipher.

Our analysis is based on manual coding of sentiment in a random sample of 1500 tweets mentioning the leaders.

facebook vs. twitter

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