Not even close

July 3rd, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Prime Minister holds a clear advantage over his rivals on heading into September’s general election.

Key has almost three times the followers on his page and account than all other party leaders combined. 

His official Twitter feed has 110,000 followers; almost 10 times as many as the next most followed party leader on Twitter – Russel Norman of the Greens with 11,500. 

Labour leader commands a Twitter audience of 9926. 

How does this compare to other countries? How many Twitter followers per 1,000 populations do the PMs and Opposition Leaders all have. Here’s their followers per 1,000 population:

  1. John Key (NZ) 25.0
  2. Steven Harper (Canada) 13.8
  3. Justin Trudeau (Canada) 11.2
  4. Tony Abbott (Aus) 13.0
  5. David Cameron (UK) 11.1
  6. Eed Miliband (UK) 5.1
  7. Bill Shorten (Aus) 2.8
  8. David Cunliffe (NZ) 2.2

So the NZ PM has twice as many Twitter follows per capita as the Canadian, Australian and UK PMs. And David Cunliffe has fewer followers than any of the other opposition leaders.

On Facebook, Key’s official page has 149,873 likes, while the official pages of all the other party leaders combined have 45,038 followers/likes. 

Interesting the leader with the 2nd most “likes” on Facebook is Winston Peters.

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39 Responses to “Not even close”

  1. publicwatchdog (2,270 comments) says:

    errrr ….. you may find that not all of those who ‘like’ John Key on Facebook, or follow him on twitter are actually supporters of ‘Team Key’ or going to vote for him or National? Penny Bright

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  2. Lance (2,555 comments) says:

    So Penny, are they like stalkers?

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  3. altiora (217 comments) says:

    I would be more impressed by a leader who views twitter as sheer idiocy and would rather focus on running the country and not employing PR staff to manage the Twitter account.

    And this coming from a mid-30s voter!

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  4. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Perhaps it’s a bit of an indictment of the intellect of the NZ population here that so many choose to follow the PM on Twitter? Inane nonsense.

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  5. Elaycee (4,332 comments) says:

    Perhaps it’s a bit of an indictment of the intellect of the NZ population here that so many choose to follow the PM Winston Peters at all…..

    FIFY

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  6. Pete George (23,296 comments) says:

    This doesn’t really mean much. I follow Key on Twitter but it isn’t very useful. If Key actually communicated with the plebs it would be different but it’s just like a drip fed party puffy PR account.

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  7. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    The banality of some aspects of modern life. As P.G. said before: it does not mean anything.

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  8. David Garrett (6,723 comments) says:

    Altiora: Well said Sir/Madam…I too find it very disturbing that our leader and prospective leaders are even part of the inane phenomenon that is “twitter”

    Can anyone imagine the political giants of old “tweeting” ?

    “Winston Churchill has risen from his nap and is having a cigar. He might have brandy later”

    God help us…

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  9. freemark (511 comments) says:

    I’ll bet the GIMPS are jealous, after all they “own”, use & propagate dogma via SM.
    Actually FB is one of the best mediums to chop down their nasty little fairy tales, and quite fun.

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  10. Alan (1,077 comments) says:

    Kim Dotcom has 365k followers.

    Interestingly Jacinda Arden has nearly double the followers of her leader, but she tweats a lot. Cunners doesn’t appear to be comfortable with 140 characters.

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  11. Pete George (23,296 comments) says:

    Cunliffe doesn’t appear to use his own Twitter account, like Key it’s part of his party PR machine but not used very frequently.

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  12. Dave Guerin (31 comments) says:

    You did omit Obama’s 43.9m…

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  13. Psycho Milt (2,363 comments) says:

    So the take-home message is that the Nats have invested in one of those fake Twitter followers robot apps?

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  14. David Garrett (6,723 comments) says:

    No Pyscho…the “take home message” is that our political life is becoming more and more banal by the day…and our politicians are a pale shadow of the giants of the past…all of them, without exception, dance to the media tune because they are terrified not to.

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  15. Pete George (23,296 comments) says:

    And that leads to one of the biggest issues of today, the degree of influence in our democracy that the media has, and the lack of democratic accountability to go with that. We can’t vote them out, we can’t pressure them to resign, and it’s very difficult to apply pressure via the media, they tend to protect their own, although social media is slowly changing things.

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  16. RRM (9,638 comments) says:

    FFS…

    On social media the welfare of the 55 Maui dolphins is the vital issue of our times.

    … Big oil is bad…

    …Stop Big oil…

    …stop this National Government that doesn’t care and is only interested in profits…

    There’s too much inequality, we need to tax the rich even more…

    herp derp…!

    …etc…

    …etc…

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  17. Rich Prick (1,630 comments) says:

    “Kim Dotcom has 365k followers.”

    Yes, but that’s including US law enforcement agents.

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  18. Pete George (23,296 comments) says:

    This has been pointed out by @dovil – most of John Key’s followers are supposedly fake.

    Twitter Audit Report
    John Key
    @johnkeypm
    36,235 Real
    45,193 Fake
    44% audit score

    https://www.twitteraudit.com/johnkeypm

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  19. tom hunter (4,556 comments) says:

    And in the Year of Our Lord, 2014, the scribes proclaimed that the leaders of great nations shall be judged by the number of their Twitter followers.

    And the Lord looked down, saw that this was a great joke and sent his only programmer among the Twitterers to stir further by announcing: Let he among you who has not Tweeted cast the first Pheed.

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  20. Redbaiter (8,000 comments) says:

    Here is a tweet from John Key on May 15th showing he has no idea what the National Party is meant to stand for-

    This government is going to say to New Zealand there is a way forward which is progressive and positive.

    National is a Conservative Party, not a Progressive party.

    Or at least it was until Key and his left wing cronies took over.

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  21. mister nui (1,006 comments) says:

    FFS, significant structural problems with our economy, and National’s leading spin doctor is promoting this shite as newsworthy!

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  22. altiora (217 comments) says:

    The Churchill tweet is gold David Garrett. I fear if I disclose my gender, my mystique will be reduced. I see criticising twitter gets down votes; oh dear.

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  23. altiora (217 comments) says:

    @ Alan: re Jacinda — never underestimate the pulling power of teeth and tits.

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  24. RRM (9,638 comments) says:

    I wonder what is of the following best explains the massive electoral support the National Party now enjoys:

    Is it because of redbaiter’s opinions about what the National Party should stand for?

    Or is it because of what the National Party actually does stand for?

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  25. Pete George (23,296 comments) says:

    What Twitter can be good for:

    @Whaleoil

    @moasnotagoer @MauiTheDolphin quickest way to save Mauis Dolphins is put on DPB (Domestic Porpoises Benefit), breed like flies then

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  26. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    J Key runs a tiny country, that even though is no where near the size of one US or Australian state, is being marginalised to one island and even then to the centre of that island.

    Atrocious !!!!!!

    The West and East coasts are winding down and the bottom of the south will follow suit.

    Chch is closing to a very predictable end.

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  27. notrotsky (63 comments) says:

    As it’s my view that only nitwits, numbskulls, teens and trolls use twitter I’m not sure that having a heap of followers is a good thing

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  28. altiora (217 comments) says:

    @ wikiriwhis business: might be a good idea to change your name to “Prophet Jeremiah”, would suit your postings warning of impending doom.

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  29. Chthoniid (2,029 comments) says:

    Mwah ha ha

    I have 18,000 followers. I think that means I can overthrow Norman’s rule of the Green party and replace it with my own.

    Or am I getting mixed up with GoT?

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  30. SGA (950 comments) says:

    Chthoniid at 3:06 pm

    I have 18,000 followers. I think that means I can overthrow Norman’s rule of the Green party and replace it with my own.
    Or am I getting mixed up with GoT?

    In the GoT version I think you have to poison Norman and sleep with Turei, or maybe it’s the other way round. Oh, and a dragon, you have to have a dragon, that’s the cool bit.
    Would help a lot if you’re vertically challenged too.

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  31. Chthoniid (2,029 comments) says:

    @SGA

    In the GoT version I think you have to poison Norman and sleep with Turei

    Oh

    Shit

    I think his rule is safe then

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  32. David Garrett (6,723 comments) says:

    @davidgarrett: Just had a crap…very relaxing

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  33. FeralScrote (120 comments) says:

    Can the election and just appoint the Govt on Facebook likes,save us,the long suffering taxpayer a poultice of cash.
    I`m all for it. : /

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  34. Pete George (23,296 comments) says:

    Matthew Beveridge shpws why number of Twitter followers means little on it’s own and provides an in depth analysis of the use of Twitter. He concludes:

    So it appears that Stuff have fallen into the typical trap of “oh my god, followers! The account must be successful!”. But followers is a pretty inaccurate way to judge accounts, especially when you are talking about accounts with tens, if not hundreds of thousands, of followers. If you want to judge an account on how successful it is, there are a number of ways to do that, but it takes a little bit of digging and explaining.

    I can understand why people were questioning why this story was published by Stuff. It comes across as a lazy attempt to lay out the current state of social media in New Zealand Politics. It has elicited a number of reactions, from those trumpeting John Key’s success, like David Farrar, to those like Dovil pointing out the issue with the numbers. But there is much more to running a successful social media presence than just gaining numbers and even those numbers can be misleading.

    Stuff, Twitter followers and a more complete picture.

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  35. adze (1,982 comments) says:

    @David Garrett :)

    If you think Twitter is banal, believe it or not there’s a site called “Rate my Poo”.

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  36. David Garrett (6,723 comments) says:

    Adze: nothing would surprise me….to quote the late great curmudgeon Kingsley Amis: “More will be worse…”

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  37. Duxton (589 comments) says:

    Given past activities of Labour supporters in South Auckland, it would seem perfectly reasonable to assume that 10-20% of Cunliffe’s ‘likes’ come from individuals voting — sorry, posting — under different identities.

    Just sayin……

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  38. wiseowl (817 comments) says:

    What’s twitter?

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  39. mister nui (1,006 comments) says:

    Wiseowl, it’s the bit of flesh right between the twot and the shitter…

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