ACCORDING to the Ipsos Political Atlas Debate Dashboard, an online tool that measures Twitter volume and sentiment, Canadians were active online during the debates. Total volume per minute about the election increased from approximately 60 mentions per minute to over 300 during the debate.
According to Twitter, federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was the biggest winner. His volume of mentions and positive sentiment steadily increased throughout the debate.
While Conservative Party Leader Andrew Sheer and Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau had the most volume overall, People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier also attracted significant volume at various times in the debate. Sentiment about Bernier was net neutral, and the leaders were on the negative side within a few points of one another. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-François Blanchet attracted very little mention throughout the debates.
Ipsos points out that it is worth noting that sentiment and volume are separate measures. Sentiment measures attitudes towards the parties and leaders. A sentiment rating over 50 is “net positive,” while a sentiment rating of less than 50 is “net negative.” A small group of dedicated supporters or detractors on Twitter can drive sentiment into the positive or negative territory.
Overall, Trudeau’s net sentiment dropped from 55 to 40. Mr. Sheer’s net sentiment also dropped, starting at 48 and dropping to 42. When Trudeau was attacked by his opponents, a drop in sentiment occurred. Sentiment about him remained otherwise flat. in By contrast, Singh’s net sentiment moved from 62 to 68 and stayed consistently high during the debate.
The main issues according to volume were energy and climate, and cost of living, consistent with Ipsos public opinion polls showing these issues among Canadians’ top priorities. There were noticeable increases in discussion about Indigenous Issues and Bill 21 when these issues were discussed.
These are findings from the Canadian Political Atlas Debate Dashboard, an online social media monitoring tool that measured Twitter sentiment and volume through the debate. The data are not representative of the Canadian population, and reflect only social media activity online. Data were collected between 7 and 9 p.m. October 7.