Ireland’s most social savvy politicians

social savvy, social media, general election, ge16, Gerry Adams

Who is getting down with the kids during the #ge16 campaign?

Ireland’s political parties have accumulated 142,000 likes on Facebook.

Research by the Insight Centre for Data Analytics found that that 88pc of declared candidates in General Election 2016 have a Twitter account, but who is making the most of the social presence?

Ducky ár lá

Sinn Féin is the undisputed star of social media in Ireland with over 78,000 likes on Facebook and 40,900 followers on Twitter. That’s a massive leap from where they were five years ago, when they didn’t even have a Facebook page.

Party leader Gerry Adams has attracted 99,300 Twitter followers, thanks to his famously cryptic messages about his rubber ducky, while second in command Mary Lou McDonald is the most ‘liked’ TD on Facebook.

FG on FB

Enda Kenny is the second most-followed TD on Twitter with over 42,000 followers. His party has attracted 14,371 likes on Facebook — that number has more than quadrupled since 2011, when it had 2,700 likes.

Labour, meanwhile, has been strategic with its videos, attract a respectable 28,000 Twitter followers and 14,456 likes on Facebook.

Joan Burton has 14,700 followers on Twitter, way behind her coalition partner.

Fianna Favourite

Fianna Fáil is just behind FG with 19,000 followers on Twitter and 13,824 likes. Party leader Micheál Martin has 15,800 twitter followers.

Each party has employed a digital team to design graphics and create “behind-the-scenes” videos to bump up its PR strategy.

All parties have taken courses on social media management so they can better interact with the electorate. God be with the days when people would just knock on the door.

Here are the top 5 most followed TDs on Twitter:

  1. Gerry Adams – @GerryAdamsSF, 99.4k followers
  2. Enda Kenny – @EndaKennyTD, 42.4k followers
  3. Shane Ross – @Shane_RossTD, 35.8k followers
  4. Leo Varadkar – @Campaignforleo, 29.9k followers
  5. Mary Lou McDonald – @MaryLouMcDonald. 24.9k followers

Here’s who we’ll be following during #ge16. Who is on your Twitter radar? Tweet us – @mediahqnews.

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General Election jargon – busted!

general election jargon, #ge16

With the election campaign in full swing, we take a swing at the spin and bust the jargon that has been thrown into the public ring.

Here are three terms you should get to grips with during #ge16:

Fiscal flip flop

No, this doesn’t refer to a tax consultant at the beach.

It’s what Sinn Féin has persistently accused Fine Gael of — fiscal flip flopping. It certainly sounds good in a soundbite.

The term refers to ambitious economic promises that contradict the outgoing government’s fiscal strategy.

Rainy day fund

Remember Charlie McCreevy’s National Pension Reserve Fund? Nope? That’s because it was raided after the banking collapse to help meet the government’s budget commitments during the height of the crisis.

The NPRF was basically a rainy day fund — reserved money that is used to deal with budget shortfalls when revenues don’t match expenditures. Money we can use to help balance the books.

A rainy day fund might help prevent us from getting into the kind of trouble we were in eight years ago. But where does the money come from? A tax levy of course.

Fiscal space

The final frontier? The meaning of ‘fiscal space’ has certainly become otherworldly as Michael Noonan blindly throws it around with his trademark sense of cool persuasiveness.

It is basically code for “money”, as Arthur Beesley explains in today’s Irish Times.

It is the money that the government has available for tax cuts or spending increases — of course, the vast majority of politicians are going to promise both.

The IMF defines it as “room in a government´s budget that allows it to provide resources for a desired purposes without jeopardizing the sustainability of its financial position or the stability of the economy”. What a mouthful!

Basically, fiscal space is the money that must be (carefully) created if extra resources are to be made available for government spending.

It’s a handy little term for campaigning politicians because it sounds serious and allows them to make generous promises without anybody fully realising.

We prefer Henrietta McKervey’s definition: She suggests that “fiscal space” should be used to describe “the area between two opposing politicians’ posters on a lamppost”.

What political jargon would you like to see busted in #ge16? Tweet us – @mediahqnews.

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