The Federal Budget has become an annual ‘Twitter event’, with the politicos, business leaders, comedians and anyone with a Twitter handle hitting the hashtag #Budget2017 on the second Tuesday in May.
Blunt insight, rancour and humour exist in equal measure. In many ways, a proper reading of Twitter data is more insightful than the traditional media. It reports what the voter feels, not necessarily how the media might publish.
The social media conversation is, of course, not limited to Twitter either. The slightly less politically engaged on Facebook might have their opinions shaped wholly on the platform, particularly if Facebook is their key medium for consuming news and opinion; which it is for many.
Between 4pm on Budget Day and 2pm on Wednesday there were 39,415 tweets when our search terms were met, reaching a crescendo, unsurprisingly, between 8-9pm.
Amongst this sentiment data set, a few policy reflections stand out:
- Many users on Twitter felt that introducing drug testing for welfare recipients was approaching drug use through an incorrect lens.
- Gen Y is hopeful that the new superannuation tax concessions will alleviate pressure on first home buyers, even if they would like the maximum amount higher.
- The increased debt ceiling was dimly viewed.
- The increased funding through to the NDIS was viewed roundly positively.
- The additional funding for counter-terrorism was heavily criticised as misapplied spending.
The table below provides analysis of key policy terms against their sentiment taken from 4pm Budget night to 2 pm the following day (with 0 percent being perfectly negative and 100 percent being perfectly positive).
The strike by Fairfax journalists also attracted attention, adding a new layer of complexity to the social media discussion around the Budget event.
The social media data set offers high quality and quick analysis around first responses, most of which were passionately one way or the next. Certainty in politics, policy and government relations, it is the public pulse data set to get your hands on.