2019 Australian Election: Controversy dominates party…

2019 Australian Election: Controversy dominates party leader searches

Australia has become notorious for ousting its own leader.

In the past eight years, the country has seen eight leadership challenges. Four of these have been successful, including the current prime minister, Scott Morrison, ousting his predecessor in August last year.

A twitter account was even made in 2015 documenting who is in charge every half hour. 

Election Twitter Updates from “The Australian PM is”

So, on the 18th of May, the public gets the chance to decide. In the upcoming federal election, 16 million Australians will vote for all 151 lower house seats and 40 of 76 upper house seats.

With Hitwise data, we look at how Australians have reacted online. From Scott Morrison to Pauline Hanson, we analyse what people are searching for and considering in the lead up to the election. 

Which candidate is trending online?

When it comes to search demand, Scott Morrison understandably leads compared to other candidates. Since the start of the year, searches for the current prime minister have grown 98%. But this is the slowest rise versus other leaders. Searches for One Nation’s Pauline Hanson have seen a six-fold increase, followed by mining magnate-turned politician Clive Palmer (five-fold increase), opposition leader Bill Shorten (four-fold increase), and Greens candidate Richard Di Natale (three-fold).

Source: Hitwise, AU. Weekly searches from week ending 29/12/18 to 4/5/19

What are the top searches by candidate? 

Keywords around each key candidate show that Australians are searching for scandal and rumours. The current PM hasn’t been able to rid the ghost of his past, with searches for “Engadine McDonalds” trending in the top 5variations.

Scandal has surrounded Pauline Hanson’s political career, with her latest statement on “Port Arthur among the top variations. While searches for his policies around migration and dental care have grown, the top variations for Bill Shorten included his net worth and wife. These variations weren’t too dissimilar to Clive Palmer, with net worth and wife for the UAP leader. The top variations around the Greens candidate revolved around Richard Di Natale’s interview with Andrew Bolt.

Top Searches Around Key Leaders

Scott Morrison
Bill Shorten
1. “waleed aly scott morrison”1. “bill shorten wife
2 “scott morrison news2. “bill shorten net worth
3. “scott morrison engadine mcdonalds3. “bill shorten running
4. “scott morrison the project4. “bill shorten twin brother
5. “scott morrison waleed aly5. “bill shorten news

Pauline Hanson
(One Nation)
Clive Palmer
(United Australia)
Richard Di Natale
1. “pauline hanson port arthur1. “clive palmer party1. “richard di natale
andrew bolt
2. “pauline hanson 
2. “clive palmer net worth2. “richard di natale
3. “sunrise pauline hanson”3. “clive palmer
aboriginal foundation
3. “andrew bolt
richard di natale
4. “pauline hanson 
4. “clive palmer wife4. “who is richard di
5. “pauline hanson one nation5. “clive palmer rant5. “richard di natale

Source: Hitwise, AU. Searches in the 12 weeks ending 4/5/19 (Two tables above)

What are people reading in the lead up to the election?

Late party re-shuffling has also topped the most viewed articles around the election. Looking at the week ending the 7th of May, the late removal of Liberal candidate Gurpal Singh ranked first. Other news included Scott Morrison’s egging incident and live coverage of the national debate. And who is keeping up with the latest controversies in the lead up to the election? The audience reading about the election were 9% more likely to be 45-54 yo and 18% more likely to reside in NSW.

Source: Hitwise, AU. Top articles in the week ending 7/5/19

Election day is fast approaching…

The Australian public are keeping themselves informed, as well as amused, with the latest twists and turns around the election. Controversy and scandal have topped search variations for each key candidate, as well as top articles online.

Opinion polls suggest this election is too close to call. Only Saturday will tell if the country will have the same party in power or see its sixth leader in less than a decade.

For more information about Hitwise search or article level insights, contact us here. (And don’t forget to vote!)

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