Lost in Re-Election: A Tale of Two Spanish Online Campaigns
In the 2010 decade, Spanish politics have transitioned from bipartidism to multipartidism. This change led to an unstable situation which eventually led to the rare scenario of two general elections within six months. The two elections had a mayor difference: two important left-wing parties formed a coalition in the second election while they had run separately in the first one. In the second election and after merging, the coalition lost around 1M votes, contradicting opinion polls. In this study, we perform community analysis of the retweet networks of the online campaigns to assess whether activity in Twitter reflects the outcome of both elections. The results show that the left-wing parties lost more online supporters than the other parties. Furthermore, we find that Twitter activity of the supporters unveils a decrease in engagement especially marked for the smaller party in the coalition, in line with post-electoral traditional polls.
KeywordsTwitter Politics Political parties Spanish elections Online campaigning Political coalition Engagement Political participation
This work is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness under the María de Maeztu Units of Excellence Programme (MDM-2015-0502).
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