Twitter on the Hill: Jason Kenney, Paul Wells the top influencers so far
It’s been just over one month since the Speech from the Throne and since the Prime Minister reopened Parliament, we’ve been tracking Twitter mentions of nearly 250 MPs and almost 150 Hill journalists.
We’ll be releasing a full report later on, but since it’s been such a busy month in Canadian politics, we thought we’d check in to see who’s influencing the conversation in Ottawa so far.
While it might seem obvious that party leaders Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair would dominate the political spotlight, the top influencer crown is, in fact, currently held by Employment and Social Development Minister Jason Kenney.
This is particularly interesting given that Kenney has long been pegged as heir apparent for the Prime Minister’s job, and whose prowess as a fundraiser was noted by the CBC just this past week.
Kenney was followed by the three major party leaders, with Trudeau and Harper close behind and Mulcair a distant fourth. Green Party leader Elizabeth May was sixth and newly independent MP Brent Rahgeber ninth.
The top ten was filled out by Foreign Minister John Baird, Minister of State for for Western Economic Development Michelle Rempel and NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen. Industry Minister Tony Clement, well known as a heavy social media user, just barely managed to squeak into tenth ahead of Liberal MP Hedy Fry.
Bloc Quebcois leader Daniel Paillé had a reach of just over 88,000, which wasn’t even good enough to put him in the top fifty.
As for Hill journalists, Macleans’ Paul Well‘s took the top spot, largely driven by his book about Stephen Harper which was released in late October.
Not surprisingly, he was followed by the CBC’s Twitter machine, Kady O’Malley. A little more surprising was third place, The Globe and Mail’s Kim Mackrael. She was helped along by several retweets from her publication’s main and political handles, both with considerable follower counts.
The top ten journalists also included Sun Media’s David Akin, CityNews’ Cormac MacSweeney, the Toronto Star’s Susan Delacourt and Postmedia’s Stephen Maher.
Interestingly, the CBC was the only outlet with more than one journalist in the top ten as Rosie Barton, Laura Payton and Susana Mas all joined O’Malley.
As I said, this is something we’re going to continue to track and we’ll be publishing more data in the near future.