Violence, security and National Super Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s health scare dominated Twitter conversation in the past week.
During the week under analysis, between July 7 and 13, a total of 141,045 tweets were related to Election 2017, a 70 per cent increase over the previous week.
The review of Twitter conversation by Nation Newsplex and @Twitter shows three issues led the conversation during the peak days for Jubilee and the National Super Alliance.
For the first time since the Nation Media Group started tracking election-related conversation, the two parties peaked on the same day, July 12. But the peak hours were different, with Jubilee peaking at 11am and Nasa at 5pm.
The 14,917 tweets that mentioned Jubilee that Wednesday were fuelled by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto’s tours of Homa Bay and Kisumu counties where Mr Ruto’s speeches were disrupted, the opening ceremony of the IAAF World Under-18 Championship, and the opening of the EABL brewery in Kisumu.
The President, too, got into the tweeting mix. @UKenyatta replying [email protected] said: “My brother @RailaOdinga Happy to see you've recovered well.” This tweet got 1,570 retweets, 2,554 likes and 533 replies.
@ItsPOS was supportive of the President’s foray into Homa Bay and Kisumu. “#UhuRutoInNyanzawith such receptions in perceived strongholds, what we need is a free, fair and credible election. We are already peaceful.” But @amulegaiwas not impressed: “UHURUTO can promise Nyanza people whatever they what, even Heaven. But they won't reap anything from that place #UhuRutoInNyanza”
Jubilee was more talked about than Nasa. The party was mentioned in 79,838 tweets (60 per cent) compared to the 53,588 tweets that referenced Nasa.
Conversation on Nasa’s peak day was driven by a tweet from Mr Odinga followed by President Kenyatta’s tweet mentioned above. @RailaOdingatweeted: “Uhuru is unashamedly propagating “Nusu mkate” fantasies and lies no one believes. We have no plans of sharing power with you Mr President.”
@francismwaura98replying to @RailaOdinga’s tweet that President Kenyatta is preparing to reject elections said: “You Will Lose Again And Cry Your Eyes Out. No Intimidation Will Deter Jubilee From Forming The Government.”
A tweet does not have to be supportive towards a political party or leader to be included in either category.
Who are the most talked-about candidates?
Mr Odinga was the most talked about candidate this week, dislodging President Kenyatta from top spot. In the past week, the Nasa leader was mentioned in 4,285 tweets in relation to the 10 key topics that Nation Media Group is tracking, while the President was referenced 3,576 times.