DA gives Twitter the blues, but ANC is gold again
Ruling party enjoys uptick in sentiment while users reserve 'sadness' for the DA and 'disgust' for the EFF
President Cyril Ramaphosa is the ANC’s golden goose, the Economic Freedom Fighters disgust many and more social media users are becoming disenchanted with the Democratic Alliance.
These are sentiments and emotions about the country’s political parties that are being expressed by Twitter users.
Acumen Media’s analysis of “political speak” on the social network predicts that 58% of conversations about the ANC indicated a “level of joy”.
Analyst Tonya Khoury explained that the monitoring system allowed her to measure the sentiment and emotions of users on social media by looking at emojis and words they posted.
“Joy can be a little bit skewed. For example, if you are laughing so hard at someone’s inability to perform, the system would take that as joy.”
Khoury said the ANC had bounced back from negative sentiments and was recently experiencing a weekly positive rise as Ramaphosa appeared to be “the golden goose”, with joy mostly associated with his name.While some users expressed joy when referring to the EFF, there was a “large” element of disgust.
Khoury explained that while EFF leader Julius Malema “owned” Twitter with his viral tweets, the party had the highest negative ranking sentiments with 48%.
While social media users were still largely enarmoured with the DA, the analysis found that sadness was a growing emotion in how Twitter users felt about the party.
Khoury attributed the dischenchantment to the saga with embattled Patricia de Lille, which started with a vote of no confidence in the City of Cape Town mayor earlier this year.
“What fascinated me about the insights that came out from social media, is that they correlated completely with the Ipsos on-the-ground study which asked people who they would vote for, and it came out as ANC, then DA and then the EFF.
“The ANC were almost on a ticket to a landslide and it was all because of Ramaphosa, yet he also causes negative sentiment. But the ANC is climbing into positive territory week on week.”The latest Ipsos Pulse of the People study found that 60% of the 3,000 South Africans it surveyed supported the ANC while 13% would vote for the DA and 7% for the EFF in the 2019 general election.
Political analyst Protas Madlala agreed with the insights gathered from Twitter.
“It reflects what South Africans are feeling. I also agree with prediction of the election results. In fact, I agree with all the results. The issue of where the EFF gets its funding is changing the way South Africans feel about the party while there are positive sentiments where Ramaphosa is concerned.”
Madlala said political parties should pay close attention to social media in the run-up to the election.
“It’s a new technology and it’s used by a lot of voters. They should take what people are saying on it very seriously.”