Social Media Reaction to a Separatist Win for Quebec
September 6, 2012 | Comments Off
The September 4th election in Quebec brought unprecedented voters to the polls leading to a minority win for the pro-independence Parti Québécois. Reactions in social media were swift as thousands of people voiced their opinions online.
In an analysis of thousands of English language opinions shared in the social media space, the reaction was obviously mixed. Among all messages about the Quebec election, about 12.8% were negative, 71.4% were neutral, and about 15.8% were positive. As opposed to a strongly positive or strongly negative stance, this highly neutral reaction mirrors the mixed opinions reflected in the minority win.
Reaction to Pauline Marois specifically was 18.4% positive (15.7% negative), a similar reaction to her party’s win which generated 16.8% positive scores (10.6% negative).
Similarly, Jean Charest, the long-time Quebec Liberal Party leader and Premier, generated opinions that were only 9.9% positive and 15.1% negative. His party generated opinions that were 8.1% positive (12.2% negative).
Surprisingly, voters focused on individual people and party’s as opposed to specific issues. In the weeks leading up to the election, only 4.7% of conversations specifically mentioned separatism, compared to 8.7% mentioning schooling, 1.4% mentioning the economy, 0.5% mentioning health care, and 0.2% mentioning child care.
[Results specifically excluded all conversations related to the shooting that killed one person at a PQ post-win event.]