The Debate: National Social Media

Last night was TV3’s leaders debate. I have looked at the use of social media by the parties to promote the here. This post is going to look at how National used Twitter during the debate to push their message.


I have screen grabbed every Tweet that National sent from their 10 minute to go tweet through to their sign off tweet. They sent 22 tweets, including 1 retweet, between 8:30pm and 9:51pm tonight. Normally I link every screen grab to the original, but due to the number of tweets I am not going to do that in this post. If you want to check out the raw tweets and their replies, click here.


National took a more traditional approach to their tweets. They have the quotes that most have come to expect, but they also have a number of gaphics that they prepared. Two of them, the boats and the David Cunliffe one, have both been doing the rounds lately. I am not sure if injecting these graphics into the debate was going to achieve much.

Unlike Labour who used the short hand DC in their Tweets, National used John’s handle in the tweets where they mentioned him. John already has a rather large following, so it isn’t like they need to grow it. But it does help link everything together.

The overall approach from National was mainly conservative, sticking with quotes from the debate. But like Labour, they took a risk, going with the negative graphics during the debate. That risk has probably paid off, as those two tweets were some of the most retweeted for National.

Talking of retweets, the numbers for National are pretty concerning. Total retweets across the 21 tweets sent, 116. This is less than 25% of what Labour got. I know that Twitter is a left dominated medium, but still, a 1:4 ratio for retweets during a live TV debate on national TV?