Federal election 2015: can social media predict a winner?

Can social media predict the winner in Monday's federal election? Bruce Cameron thinks so.

Bruce Cameron has been examining social media interactions to gauge momentum

Bruce Cameron on social media and the election

7 years ago
Duration 5:29
Bruce Cameron of Return on Insight, discusses his analysis of social media interaction and what that could mean in the Canadian election.

Can social media predict the winner in Monday's federal election? Bruce Cameron thinks so. 

The Return On Insight pollster monitors social media for reach and reaction and compiles the results to see who has the momentum and the means to win. 

"It gives you a really good sense, when you combine it with the polling, of how much momentum and how much organization there is on the ground," Cameron told CBC Calgary News at 6. 

"So, how much traction is the party getting, and it's minute by minute, it's not something where the next day, the next week you've got a poll."

The first time he used the technique to try to pick a winner was in the most recent B.C. election. He says it pointed to the Liberals coming back and defeating the NDP, which is what happened. 

Who will win?

In the federal contest, he's going with the Liberals.

"I would predict the Liberals are going to have a minority government, and it could be a very strong minority government — as in 145 to 150 in terms of seats. Maybe even a little higher than 150," he said.

Cameron first noticed the Liberals had a chance in September, thanks to wide reach and positive reaction on social media, well ahead of the NDP.

He also says the Liberals have capitalized on a shift toward more positivity in the campaign, while the Conservatives have remained mired in negativity. 

"There's a negativity to their ads, there's a negativity to the reaction, there's a lot of negativity and that comes out in the social media, we can measure that," he said. 

Cameron doesn't think the Liberals will achieve a majority, based mostly on the fact that both the NDP and Conservatives are better at converting votes into seats. 


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