Saturday, January 14, 2017

Debate of the primary : what the tweeters have (really) said on each candidate –

The four leading candidates in the primary on the left. (Illustrations : Andrea Caliò)

The first debate of the candidates in the primary of the Beautiful people’s Alliance has been the opportunity to study the content of the discussions that have animated nearly 30,000 internet users on Twitter. While the columnists are divided on the name of the winner of the first debate, what about the tweeters? While Benoît Hamon is considered “clear” and “compelling”, the will of Arnaud Montebourg to be the president of courage is included as such by many internet users. There is a consensus on the posture laid out, and the concentration of Vincent Peillon, who stands out from the other candidates by its decision height. For Manuel Valls, before any of its proposals on the safety or well his actions as Prime minister-provoking discussions. A first classification is drawn.

tweets supporters vs. the rest of the community of tweeters

If Manuel Valls is associated with the thematic of the protection of the Republic, or of the security by its support, the set of users made mention of it evokes, rather, the article 49.3 of the Constitution, the left irreconcilable, or even a form of betrayal of the left by the act to Work.

The followers of Vincent Peillon have been many to remind you of the support of Anne Hidalgo, and to resume his statement on the “height” needed to show the left. The themes such as the SIEC, education, Europe, or the universal income also generate many comments. The general discussions crystallize to their part around “misunderstanding” that is, to Vincent Peillon, the quinquennium of Francois Hollande in French ; they also emphasize his stature and its position on the links between François Fillon and Vladimir Putin.

The support ofArnaud Montebourg resumed his statements about the banks and austerity, or again, the rule is “absurd” that represents the limit of the public deficit to 3% of GDP imposed by the european Union. All users emphasised his patriotism, his steadfastness and his experience, as well as his thought for the workers of the industrial site of Florange.

where the general discussions evoke Benoît Hamon under the angle of its proposals relating to the youth guarantee, the universal income, the ecology or even its draft of the legalization of cannabis, his supporters are themselves the themes of the school, security and jobs. They consider convincing and clear, and associating the word “president” in the name of their candidate.

When Jean-Luc Bennahmias denounced the under-representation and the delay time of the word accumulated by the “small candidates”, he had knowledge of the volumes of conversations on Twitter? Since on the web also, the “small candidates” Sylvia Pinel, François de Rugy and Jean-Luc Bennahmias, are evoked in a manner much less recurrent than their opponents, which prevented us from offering the same lighting on their discussions.

quotes to print

Benoît Hamon and Arnaud Montebourg have been able to impose their words and slogans during the debate, thus generating the most engagement from users.

For his part, Benoît Hamon manages to create the greatest number of reactions around his criticism of an irrational attachment to economic growth, which would be shared by most of the political class : “It continues to say focus on growth, while inequality rises and that unemployment does not fall”. It is, however, the only citation that will allow the former minister delegate in charge of social and solidarity Economy to become one of the candidates picked up by the tweeters.

then Comes Arnaud Montebourg who is performing particularly in the beginning of the broadcast, where two citations are directly extracted from his profession of faith were among the transcripts most shared : “I want to be the President of the will and the courage” and “I demand your trust in order to unite the left”. It should be noted that introductions and conclusions candidates correspond to moments specially prepared and strategic, thought out by the communication advisors to enhance the positioning and personality of their protected. A great success for the former minister of the economy, therefore.

Who has generated the most conversations?

If one seeks to compare the success of the candidates on Twitter, given the number of mentions of their name associated with the issuance, classification clear draws. Manuel Valls, with a high number of followers that gave him his position of Prime minister (547K followers), wins the battle of the conversations with near 23.439 mentions. It is followed by Benoît Hamon with 17.311 tweets (259K followers), and Arnaud Montebourg with 16.818 messages (352K followers). Absent from Twitter for the past two years (60K followers only), Vincent Peillon the heels with 13.132 tweets. The candidates, Jean-Luc Bennahmias, Sylvia Pinel, and François de Rugy close walking with, respectively, 7.864, 7.588 and 3.569 mentions. The Socialist Party requires can be no doubt that his domination on the “small” candidates in the primary.

The amount does not, however, the content of the discussions, the discussions around Manuel Valls are an illustration of this : while its supporters are naturally a tone of positive, general discussions see painful memories for the public opinion to resurface. “49-3″, “treason”, “Law Work”… All the messages that the tone will be especially negative. More than a membership, the number of mentions corresponds primarily to the interest – both positive and negative – elicited by the personality or the proposals of the candidates.


based on a random sample of around 55,000 tweets, we have first of all investigated how each candidate is perceived and described by users of Twitter. Here we have made an important distinction between the support provided – with corresponding hashtags like #AvecValls or #Montebourg2017 – and the rest of the community speaking on the debate, which simply mentions the names of the candidates or their official account.

then in the stage of semantic analysis. Our objective : determine the words that are over-represented to qualify the one or the other of the candidates, by calculating the ratio of the odds of the tweets selected. Thus crystallize the themes covered by the supports, and their points of agreement or contention with the rest of the internet community.

The analysis was carried out on Python, with the Pandas and Gensim. After the recovery of the 55k tweets (at 11am, the 13/01/2016) via the Twitter API, tweets are classified, lemmatized and cut out word by word. Hashtags and mentions can be retrieved by a regex, and stored in a database. The odds ratio was calculated for each word between the two datasets : the set of tweets containing the official hashtag of a candidate, against all of the tweets mentioning the candidate without the hashtag. The names of the candidates varies from one spelling to another, the algorithm Word2Vec has been integrated in order to retrieve all of the names of each candidate in the dataset. The citations have been retrieved with a regex targeting the texts containing two quotes and a statement of the candidate. The quotes deliberately ignore the quotes relayed by the official twitter accounts of the candidates.

January 13, 2017


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