Social media is now a staple of a political campaign. In West Tyrone, virtually all 18 candidates use some sort of online platform, whether Facebook, Twitter or blogs.
With that in mind, we’ve taken a snap look at well the candidates make use of the key platforms. Facebook may offer a hyper-local connection with constituents, but only four candidates maintain Facebook pages (listed bottom). Most are very active on their own personal ‘friend’ accounts, but ranking such accounts isn’t feasible or appropriate.
Accordingly, we have used the much more transparent platform of Twitter to rank West Tyrone’s 18 contenders, using twitteraudit.com to assess the true number of followers.
A total of 14 candidates have set up Twitter accounts, with wide variances in usage. Sinn Féin’s MLA Barry McElduff is the clear front-runner in the constituency, but Stephen Donnelly of Alliance is the most prolific tweeter, followed by Mr McElduff and Ciaran McClean (Green Party).
The vast majority of candidates have a high proportion of real followers, attracting the typical number of spam followers. However SDLP candidate Daniel McCrossan is the exception. Only 9% of his 3,258 followers are classed being real accounts. Curiously, Mr McCrossan’s followers had been over the six thousand mark in recent weeks, but have been dramatically slashed in half.
All candidates have personal Facebook accounts, aside from independent Susan-Anne White. However Mrs White is an active blogger.
As per no. of real followers – April 25 2016 (source twitteraudit.com)
1) Barry McElduff (Sinn Féin) @BarryMcElduff
Followers: 11.8K (real: 9,596 81%)
2) Hussey, Ross (UUP) @RossHusseyMLA
Followers: 2,449 (real: 2,188 90%)
3) McDermott, Grace (Sinn Féin) @_gracemcdermott
Followers: 1,081 (real: 1,011 95%)
4) Donnelly, Stephen (Alliance) @SteveDonnelly95
Followers: 841 (real: 806 96%)
5) Boyle, Michaela (Sinn Féin) @MichaelaBoyleSF
Followers: 776 (real: 625 93%)
6) McAleer, Declan (Sinn Féin) @mc_mla
Followers: 604 (real: 551 92%)
7) McClean, Ciaran (Green Party) @mccleangreen
Followers: 555 (real: 524 95%)
8) Kelly, Patsy (Indp) @IndpPatsy
Followers: 339 (real: 313 92%)
9) McCrossan, Daniel (SDLP) @McCrossanMLA
Followers: 3,258 (real: 282 9%)
10) McAnespy, Sorcha (Indp) @CllrMcAnespy
Followers: 148 (private account)
11) McAnea, Laura (Animal Welfare Party)
Followers: 145 (real: 144 99%)
12) French, Corey (Indp) @CoreyFrench
Followers 124 (real: 114 95%)
13) Brown, Barry (CISTA) @BarryBonesBrown
Followers 97 (real: 93 97%)
14) Bresland, Allan (DUP) @AllanBresland
Followers: 36 (real: 32 89%)
No. of tweets: 0
15) Lomas, Roger (NI Conservative) @Tyrone_Tory
Followers: 29 (real 29 100%)
NO TWITTER ACCOUNT
Buchanan, Tom (DUP)
Deehan, Josephine (Indp)
White, Susan-Anne (Indp)
FACEBOOK PAGE RANKINGS
1) Barry McElduff (Sinn Féin) – 7,774 likes
2) McCrossan, Daniel (SDLP) – 4536 likes
3) McDermott, Grace (Sinn Féin) – 1,671 likes
4) Brown, Barry (CISTA) – 368 likes