Michael D: Dominating the Polls, Odds, and Online Conversation

Round two of the fight for Áras saw the candidates size up in the RTÉ Prime Time debate last night, with more low jibes than heavy punches thrown. Some candidates’ stock has risen over the debacle (Higgins’ Twitter following increasing by almost 10,000 since the first debate began), the odds are stacking against others (Joan Freeman’s odds of becoming president rising from 25/1 after last week’s debate to 150/1 on Wednesday morning and Gavin Duffy’s from 33/1 to 200/1 in the same period), and there have been dramatic slashes for the frontrunner (President Higgins now 1/50 to be reelected).*

Four presidents have served for two terms, or fourteen years in total: Seán T O'Kelly, Éamon De Valera, Patrick Hillery, and Mary McAleese. Michael D Higgins is expected to join their ranks on Friday.

Social Media Live partnered with Olytico, specialists in social media monitoring and analysis, to follow public opinion of the debate and the support or protest each candidate elicited.

In total, over 22,000 tweets were analyzed by Olytico with the following data extracted:

  • Insights into the number of tweets sent during the debate
  • What debate moments caught the attention of the digitally-led conversation
  • Which candidates drove most of the online conversation
  • Number of mentions per candidate
  • Number of unique authors per candidate
  • Most popular hashtags
  • Most popular words

Stephen O’Leary, CEO of Olytico and Social Media Live speaker, found that:

The final debate generated the highest level of engagement on Twitter, with over 22,000 tweets published last evening about the RTÉ Prime Time broadcast. While he may not have been the most vocal candidate during the debate, President Michael D Higgins was the most mentioned – featuring in over 27% of all tweets – more than double the volume generated by any other candidate.


Irish Presidential Debate

Social Media Live takes place tomorrow at the RDS. Limitedd number of tickets available at the door.

*All odds are taken from Paddy Power. 09:00, 24.10.18.