Social Sentiment on French Election

Twitter Reveals Mixed Opinions

The French presidential election, which ended Sunday with Francois Hollande ousting incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy, generated widespread buzz and mixed opinions on Twitter. Since May 6th, social sentiment in France about the election has drawn over 235,000 relevant mentions.

Crimson Hexagon French election
Twitter analysis revealed 25% of users express satisfaction with the results, though opinions are divided according to support for Hollande and a strong desire to get Sarkozy out of office:

  • 16% of users actively show support for Hollande
  • 9% express a strong dislike for Sarkozy

33%, on the other hand, express disappointment in the election outcome, with many noting a poor outlook of French politics:

  • 11% of users are against Hollande, and convey a fear that France is going to “hit the wall” with his economic policy stance
  • 13% express support and gratitude to Sarkozy for his leadership as president and disappointment that he lost the election
  • 9% of users noted the significant amount of blank votes or reflected on the overall poor state of French politics

While a majority of the neutral conversation surrounding the election consisted of election news coverage and questions, election results consisted of 16% of all relevant conversation. The hashtag #RadioLondres, a medium used throughout the election to spread results, was again a driver of social conversation on Sunday and allowed users to know the winner before results were officially announced.

The social sentiment surrounding the French election reveal not only cynicism in the country’s political atmosphere but also anxieties about the implications of the election for the economy and France’s future. With the large volume of posts immediately surrounding the election and the widespread use of #RadioLondres, it is also clear that there is a great demand for real-time information among the French population, particularly regarding significant changes in the political environment.

Giselle Lopez contributed reporting.


Written by editorial

  • ixq

    «25% satisfaction with results» — I wonder if the use of #radiolondres did not introduce a bias. That movement was certainly anti-Sarkozy (but not necessarily pro-hollande). To use an analogy, is it not like analyzing the election through the eyes of the newspaper Liberation or even Le Monde who was anti-Sarkozy ?

  • Giselle

    Thanks so much for your response!  We would agree that the use of #RadioLondres did introduce a bias in the overall discussion.  However, we chose to segment out the Results/#RadioLondres discussion into neutral because we wanted to examine the portion of the conversation this comprised and because most of it was primarily to speculate on the success of each candidate and to spread information.  It is a great observation – and good for us to note – that separation of bias (Satisfaction vs. Neutral vs. Dissatisfaction) is somewhat loose in the case of this topic and many political topics that we tackle.  Since there was a good deal of mixed sentiment surrounding this election, we limited biased conversation to those posts expressing explicit satisfaction/dissatisfaction with the results or the candidates.  

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