Social Media in Australian Federal Elections: Comparing the 2013 and 2016 Campaigns


Against a backdrop of substantial and persistent disruption in Australian federal politics, this article examines the uses of Twitter in campaigning in the 2013 and 2016 federal elections. We comprehensively tracked the tweets posted by, and directed at, all candidates during the final 2 weeks of these campaigns, and compare patterns in candidate and audience activity across the two elections. This documents considerable shifts in campaigning strategies, electorate responses, and central themes of the debate from 2013 to 2016; we show that these shifts are in line with the changing electoral fortunes of Australia’s major party blocs during an exceptionally tumultuous period in federal politics.

Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly