BrandsEye is a South African-born online monitoring and insights company. Usually enlisted to report on the online conversations people are having about brands or campaigns, every so often they use their insights and information to create public interest infographics. Over this year’s general elections they were curious to compare online conversation around the various political parties to the actual votes counted.
They asked: What if the online conversation was the vote? What would it indicate about the outcome of this year’s election?
Not surprisingly, BrandsEye has found that of all the political parties being mentioned online, the ANC has occupied 48.7% of the conversation. This is followed by the EFF with 17.9%, then the DA with 15.3% and finally Agang with 2.4%. The remainder 15.3% of online conversation is occupied by the less popular political parties and the elections in general.
Although these parties have created large volumes of conversation online, the actual intent to vote for them expressed by consumers tells a slightly different story. Through the use of their Crowd, a large community of real people who bring local context and judgement to evaluating and contextualising online mentions, BrandsEye reminds us that sentiment is a large component to this online conversation.
Through the use of Crowd-verified data, BrandsEye can confidently say that the intent to vote for these top 4 most-mentioned parties online has resulted in 40% of South Africans who have expressed their intention to vote for the ANC. 34% have expressed their intention to vote for the DA, 24% for the EFF and 2% for Agang.
“When we start to look at the regional data, we start to see a more in-depth analysis of the sentiment towards the parties online” says JP Kloppers, CEO of BrandsEye. “For example, in the Western Cape, the ANC sees a split of about 45% positive sentiment towards the party, 55% negative; whereas the DA sees 64% positive and 36% negative sentiment towards their party. Alternatively, in Gauteng, the ANC sees 48% of online conversation expressing positive sentiment towards the party online, and the DA sees 84% positive sentiment – a high percentage we may have expected to see in the Western Cape rather based on what we know of the offline election data”.
On the 6th of May, the eve before voting day, online election conversation reached its peak of 47 717 mentions in one day.