Google and Twitter stats reveal social media winners of leaders' debate

As federal leaders sparred over the economy Thursday night, viewers at home turned to Google and Twitter. Their statistics reveal some clear social media winners.

Green Leader Elizabeth May's Twitter account had the most mentions, though she wasn't invited to debate

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper take part in the Globe and Mail leaders' debate. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

As federal leaders sparred over the economy in Calgary Thursday night, viewers at home turned to Google and Twitter — looking up party platforms, tweeting key debate buzzwords and talking about each of the three leaders.

While it takes time for analysis to trickle in and for people to weigh in on who they think won the debate, statistics released by Google and Twitter reveal the real-time social media winners.

Of the three leaders who participated, Justin Trudeau's Twitter account was the most mentioned during the debate. Twitter Canada's Cam Gordon told CBC News that Trudeau's handle was mentioned 8,126 times. He edged out Tom Mulcair (who placed second with 5,562 mentions) and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, who had 5,394 mentions.

Green Leader Elizabeth May was not invited to the debate, but her account actually had the most mentions, with 14,161. She was answering the same debate questions as the leaders via video on Twitter

According to Google Canada, Trudeau's name was the most searched during the debate. Google searches for Harper came a close second. Google said that searches on Trudeau and Harper eclipsed searches for Mulcair by 80 per cent.

Just because the leaders were on stage didn't mean they stopped tweeting.

Trudeau's account tweeted the most during the debate, followed by Mulcair's — with the tweets presumably coming from their staffers. Both accounts included a mix of photos, text and video of how the leaders were faring mid-debate. There were no tweets from Harper's account.

'Harper' tops other leaders in the most tweeted terms

The Conservative leader was tweeted about more than Mulcair or Trudeau. Twitter Canada released a breakdown of the most-used terms during the debate and the frequency they occurred.

The ringing egg timer also got a lot of online love — it even got its own Twitter account.

R.B. Bennett and 'old stock Canadians' rule Google

On Google, figures from Canadian history that were referred to during the debate proved popular. Former prime minister R.B. Bennett took the top spot in trending searches — due to Trudeau making a parallel between the Depression-era prime minister and Harper's economic record. Former Saskatchewan premier Tommy Douglas also placed in the top trending searches. Mulcair brought up Douglas several times.

Many users also searched the term "old stock Canadians." Harper used the phrase while responding to a question about immigration, though not many are certain exactly what he meant by it

The number of people searching about each of the leaders spiked up and down throughout the debate. Google Canada broke the debate down into moments, with the largest spike going to Mulcair, when he was talking about closing tax loopholes.


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