If you wanted to investigate the impact of social media on politics, you couldn’t ask for a better test case than Singapore. Tomorrow, Singapore goes to the polls for watershed elections and, for the first time in the nation’s history, the dominant People’s Action Party faces a legitimate opposition challenge, with candidates from six opposition parties set to contest 82 of 87 parliamentary seats.
In a constricted traditional media landscape, social media has proven integral for political campaigning. Opposition parties have successfully dislodged the PAP on social media, together capturing 72% of supporters on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Individual candidates have had similar successes, most famously when Nicole Seah of the National Solidarity Party became the country’s second most ‘liked’ politician on Facebook. In an environment where, 36.3 percent of people between the ages of 21 and 34 preferred the Internet as their top source of local political news, these gains may well translate into votes tomorrow.
In that spirit, here is a graphical look at the social media presence of the primary political parties:
To compile this information, we looked at Twitter followers, Facebook likes, and total YouTube upload views of each party from the 30th of March.