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Tuesday, 19 February 2019 12:42 pm

Election on the ‘net – National outplayed Labour on key sites

Nov 24th, 2008 | By | Category: Featured Article, News

THE new Prime Minister made twice as much use of internet social networks as his rival during the election, if Facebook is any indication.

Both major party leaders had Facebook pages, but John Key had more than 9000 supporters, while Helen Clark had to make do with just under 4500.

The election saw extensive use of the internet by political parties, supporters and commentators.

Labour and National both used video sharing site Youtube, but  National capitalised on the resource much more than its rival, posting 250 videos, compared to just five by Labour.

On a more personal level, independent Wellington candidate Al Mansell had a blog that he uses not only to discuss politcs, but to post various videos he created.

In the lead-up to the election, popular blogger David Farrar teamed up with Cameron Slater and commandeered a Winnebago Motorhome (dubbed the Blogmobile) in which to travel around New Zealand to interview various electoral candidates.

Although known for his right wing bent, Mr Farrar talked to candidates from across the political spectrum.

During the election, the major news outlets posted periodic updates. However, of the blogs only The Standard (apart from NewsWire) did a running commentary of the night. Most blogs tended to just re-post updates from the Electoral Commission website.

There was some activity on social networking site Twitter. Users of the service could include relevant updates with term “#nzelection.” More than 800 updates used this tag.

A small group of Australians set up a Twitter feed they updated with election results throughout the night. Although it only had 20 followers, the three considered the night a success and have plans to do similar things with the technology in the future.

With the election over, bloggers have done a lot of analysis.

Lance Wiggs has an article on how the various media outlets performed on the net. He rated the electoral commission’s own website top because, being the official source of stats, it was both timely and complete in its information.

Graeme Edgeler has figured out how Parliament would look if there was no 5% threshold. The writer of the left wing blog No Right Turn, who goes by the nom de plume “Idiot/Savant,” provided details on how this “wasted” vote compares to previous years.

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is a Whitireia Journalism student.
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