Ardern dominating social media as Christchurch voters take political engagement online

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern regularly took to Facebook Live to answer questions on the...
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern regularly took to Facebook Live to answer questions on the Government's Covid response during the lockdown. Photo: Supplied via NZH
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is the most mentioned politician in New Zealand across Facebook and Instagram, as Kiwis take their political engagement online.

Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington make up the top three places in which election-related engagement is being generated on Facebook.

Opposition leader Judith Collins comes in a close second, generating the second-highest number of engagements on both social media platforms, with Chlöe Swarbrick from the Green Party coming up third on Instagram's engagements.

The latest social media trends, collated by Facebook Australia & New Zealand, show who Kiwis are discussing the most online ahead of this year's election.

Mia Garlick, director of policy at the social media platform, said the insights would be shared weekly as part of the platform's commitment to safeguarding elections on social media.

"We've seen New Zealanders use Facebook and Instagram to engage in the 2014 and 2017 elections to share their opinions, connect with their candidates, and engage with the electoral process," she said.

And with just over three weeks until the election, the Prime Minister is still the social media favourite.

Cannabis is the third most talked about topic among young people (18-25) on Facebook, behind...
Cannabis is the third most talked about topic among young people (18-25) on Facebook, behind social policy and the economy. Image: Supplied via NZH
On Facebook, 45 per cent of all conversation about the election is coming from people aged 25 to 44 years old, women are more focused on social policy issues, such as health care, education and non-discrimination above the economy and foreign policy.

Cannabis is the third most talked about topics among young people (18-25) on the platform but over on Instagram, social policy issues dominate the conversation.

Both David Seymour and Winston Peters round out the top five on Facebook engagements, with Seymour generating the third highest number of mentions and Peters the fourth.

Over on Instagram, Chlöe Swarbrick comes in third for the most mentions on the platform behind Ardern and Collins respectively, with Winston Peters the fourth most mentioned and David Seymour coming in fifth.

The top posts from the most-engaged NZ politicians on Instagram show that relatability and behind-the-scenes moments are key on Instagram: with Jacinda Ardern honouring Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Chloe Swarbrick claiming Marama Davidson is a superhero, and Judith Collins showing an intimate family moment backstage with her husband, Garlick said.

The top posts from the most-engaged politicians on Instagram. Photo: Supplied via NZH
The top posts from the most-engaged politicians on Instagram. Photo: Supplied via NZH
New Zealand First is generating the most buzz on Facebook, ahead of the Labour and National parties, with Advance New Zealand and Vision New Zealand rounding out the top five of the most mentioned parties.

But the mighty Waikato - home to both the Prime Minister and the Opposition leader, comes in as the fourth most engaged location for election related conversations on Facebook, followed by the Bay of Plenty.

On Facebook, 45 per cent of all conversations about the election are coming from people aged 25...
On Facebook, 45 per cent of all conversations about the election are coming from people aged 25 to 44-years-old. Photo: Supplied via NZH
And as it wouldn't be social media without emojis, the Facebook team found the icons are most used on the visual platform Instagram.

The heart emoji is the most frequently used emoji in connection with election-related posts, followed by the fire emoji, used to describe something that is "excellent, scathing, or that is performing exceptionally well," Garlick said.

The laughing crying emoji, which refers to something funny or pleasing, is another commonly used emoji in online political engagement.

 

 

 

 

 

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