Between candidates, spin doctors, journalists and voters, there's a lot of election chatter on Twitter.

That means party lines, promises, reports, spin, questions and opinions are zipping across the web in real time — in 140 characters or less.

Tips and tricks

You don't need a Twitter account to use the site's search function. Enter anything — a word, term or hashtag — to see what people are saying about it.

Check out the advanced search for options that let you be more specific about what you're seeking. Looking for a tweet that mentions health care but not wait times from before the writ dropped? That's where you should start your search.

People have also been tweeting about the Canadian federal election using hashtags such as #election, but hashtags that aren't specific to Canada will yield results about elections in other countries.

That can lead to information overload.

We assembled this list of hashtags so you can cut through the clutter and get the information you want.

#elxn41

This is the big one. The "main" election-related hashtag has been in use since 2009, when Canadians knew they'd eventually be heading to the polls — but weren't sure when.

Candidates, journalists and Canadians looking to sound off on the election all use this hashtag. If it's a one-stop shop you want, this is the hashtag to follow.

The "41" refers to the fact that this is Canada's 41st general election. (That led political consultant Gerry Nicholls to ask whether we're going to number our elections "like Super Bowls or UFC fights.")

By extension, people are also adding #elxn40  to tweets relating to the 2008 federal election.

#fed2011

Rather read your election tweets en français? Check out #fed2011, where Francophone candidates, journalists and Canadians are getting their electoral fix. #elections2011  is also in use for French-language tweets.

#cdnpoli

If it's a broader look at Canadian politics that you're looking for, try this hashtag. It predates the election-related hashtags and remains home to political discussion that doesn't involve the election.

#cpc#lpc#ndp#gpc and #bq

Not election-specific hash tags per se, these are widely used to discuss Canada's five major political parties.

#roft and #cdnleft

These two hashtags aren't party-specific, but are places for right- and left-wing Canadians to read and post tweets from like-minded citizens. "roft" stands for "right OF Twitter."

#EMayIn

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May wasn't invited to the federal leaders' debates, and this is where her supporters have been venting. May has also been updating people about the legal challenge she's filed using this hashtag.

#votecompass

Got something to say about the CBC's Vote Compass tool? Add this hashtag to your tweet.

#hoc

This one stands for "House of Commons." The House isn't sitting during an election, of course, but if you see this hashtag turn up in election-related discussion, people are probably chatting about possible party standings and seat totals, or bills that died on the order paper.

(This hashtag is also used by political watchers in other countries that use the Westminster Parliamentary system, so don't be surprised if you see tweets from them.)

#femvote

Equal Voice started this hashtag to discuss women's representation and issues in the election.

#youthvote

Canadian youth are sounding off using this hashtag.

#artsvotecan

If you're looking for election news as it relates to the arts, check out this hashtag.

#2getmyvote

Canadians are using this hashtag to explain what the parties have to do to earn their votes.

Ridings

politwitter-220

Politwitter.ca has generated hashtags for every riding in the country. (Politwitter.ca)

Want to take part in a local discussion? The website Politwitter.ca has a standardized list of hashtags for the country's 308 ridings. You can find your own by entering your postal code or riding name.

The site sometimes presents two options: a number-heavy hashtag specific to a particular riding, or a shortened version of the riding name. For instance, people looking to tweet about the Toronto riding of Parkdale-High Park can use #r35068 or #parkdalehp.

Provinces

Want to see how the campaign is playing out at the provincial level? You'll find no shortage of opinions and news on the provincial and territorial political hashtags:

Did we miss any? Email us  or let us know in the comments.