Maclean’s National Leaders Debate last night gave the four major party leaders­­ —Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, New Democratic Party Leader Thomas Mulcair and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May—their first opportunity to square off on the political issues at the forefront of Canada’s news. Though the election isn’t until October 19, you can already track who is winning and losing followers in real-time on social media.

We monitored Twitter Mentions and followers as well as the sentiment of the messages shared, and follower counts for the debate participants’ social handles for the week prior to the debate.  In regard to mentions, Elizabeth May came out on top with an increase of 786 per cent in 48 hours beginning at 9 a.m. August 5.

Elizabeth May  Win

Overall sentiment towards the candidates also put May at the forefront with 31.95% of mentions about her reflecting a positive tone followed by Trudeau and Mulcair, respectively. Prime Minister Harper pulled up the rear with only about half May’s number of positive mentions and the most negative sentiment across the board.


As the debate progressed, Harper’s received the fewest new followers only gaining 3,053 across his two official accounts.  In contrast, Trudeau received the most new followers by the morning after the debate with a 4,273-person increase followed by Mulcair gaining 3,513 followers and May receiving 3,261.

Stephen Harper, Twitter Followers @PMHarper

August 6, 9:00 a.m. Before Debate 877,173

August 7, 9:00 a.m. After Debate 880,224

Net gain: 3,053 followers


Justin Trudeau, Twitter Followers @JustinTrudeau

August 6, 9:00 a.m. Before Debate 699,968

August 7, 9:00 a.m. After Debate 704,241

Net gain: 4,273 followers


Thomas Mulcair, Twitter Followers @ThomasMulcair

August 6, 9:00 a.m. Before Debate 148,466

August 7, 9:00 a.m. After Debate 151,979

Net gain: 3,513 followers


Elizabeth May, Twitter Followers @ElizabethMay

August 6, 9:00 a.m. Before Debate 161,098

August 7, 9:00 a.m. After Debate 164,359

Net gain: 3,261 followers 


Follow us on Twitter @Cision_Canada for more updates about the 2015 Election.

About James Rubec

James Rubec is a data geek, a former public relations lead and journalist with a love of content and advocacy. Ask him anything @JamesRRubec and be sure to follow @Cision_Canada

Read previous post:
How Politics Redefined the Vaccine Debate

It seems that no topic, however far afield from their area of expertise, is off-limits for U.S. presidential candidates. Running...