Australia’s federal election on August 21 is likely to be a close-run race. On one side we have the incumbent Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her center-left Labor party. In the opposition corner, we have the conservative Liberal-National coalition led by Tony Abbott. Polls have the two parties neck and neck.
But if the election were decided on social media, the outcome would be quite different, according to analysis by Australian news site News.com.au. Judging by the fans on Facebook, Australia would return Gillard to power, while the Greens would be the major Opposition party. Abbott Liberal-National Coalition would be relegated to the role of a minor third party.
Gillard‘s Facebook page has nearly 63,000 followers, despite the fact that she’s only been prime minister since the end of June, with another 870-odd ‘liking’ the official Labor Facebook page. The Greens and its parliamentary leader Bob Brown have nearly 40,000 fans, while Abbott and the Liberal Party have over 22,000 fans between them. Therefore, an election outcome based on Facebook popularity would see Gillard clinch victory with just 50% of the vote, with Brown and the Greens coming in second with 32% and Abbott just 18%. Yet in reality the recent national polls are tipping Abbott for a slim victory.
All of three are outgunned by the 87,000+ fans belonging to the unofficial anti-conservative Facebook page, “Friends don’t let friends vote Liberal”, created by 24 year old Melbourne man, John Pezy. He also created the Facebook event “I won’t be voting Liberal on August 21″, with nearly 30,000 attendees.
And, yes, you don’t need to say it… I know Americans will find it weird that Australia’s conservative party calls itself “Liberal”.
Photo Credit: Australian Prime Minster Julia Gillard, from her official Facebook page.