Kenyans are beginning to focus on the campaigns less than two months to the August 8 election, a review of Twitter conversation in the past eight weeks by Nation Newsplex and @Twitter reveals.
More than 100,000 tweets referenced the election from June 23-29, a 63 per cent increase compared to about 68,000 tweets that were shared from May 5-11. Last week, 89,831 tweets referenced Election 2017, which was 22 per cent less than this week.
Jubilee more talked about than Nasa
From June 23-29, Jubilee was most talked about political party on Twitter, dislodging the National Super Alliance (Nasa) from top spot. Jubilee was referenced in 71,873 tweets, double the number related to NASA, which was 34,070 tweets.
On Jubilee’s peak day, June 26, conversations were driven by the collapse of the Sigiri Bridge in Budalang’i that was recently inspected by President Uhuru Kenyatta, and the launch of the Jubilee manifesto.
On that day, Jubilee was referenced in 20,605 tweets, about two-thirds the number of tweets the party got in an entire week from May 5-11. Jubilee’s previous peak day was June 26 when the party was referenced in over 9,900 tweets.
Some Jubilee supporters were quick to conclude that there were sinister motives behind the collapse of the bridge. @atanasi said: “Vandalism is a serious crime. Kenyans must condemn this with the strongest terms possible#EnemiesOfKenya”.
But by the peak hour, 9pm, focus had shifted to Kasarani Stadium where the party was launching its manifesto. During that hour 3,070 tweets were shared.
On NASA’s peak day, June 27, there were 8, 024 comments related to the party on Twitter. Events on this day included the launch of the Nasa Manifesto at Ngong Racecourse, Nairobi.
The conversations were also driven by a tweet from@RailaOdinga, evoking US President Ronald Reagan, in which he said: “On 8/8, the Kenyan voter will make a decision based on a simple question; 'Are you better off now than you were four and half years ago?". The tweet had 1, 029 retweets, 1417 likes and 319 replies.