The Singapore presidential election of 2011 is the fourth Singapore presidential election to be held on 27 August 2011. This would most likely be the first contested election since the 1993 election, and the first multi-candidate presidential race in Singaporean history.
Who is winning? I’m not a big fan of politics. But, as Barack Obama did a great job of winning the presidency utilizing the power of Internet, let’s see which candidate is doing a better job running a great online campaign.
Let’s take a look at online trend analysis.
What Search Trend Says About The Next Singapore President
As search queries represent people’s intention, it can be used to predict the trend; let’s take a look at what Google “says” about who’s winning:
Tony Tan seems to be leading the race. As Google dominates the search market in Singapore, this trend is quite indicative – he is probably the most talked about candidate.
Last night I received an email from Yahoo, which seems to agree with what Google “says”:
In just a few days, the Singapore Presidential Election will decide on Singapore’s new president but based on the search trends released by Yahoo! Singapore today, Tony Tan is likely to win over Tan See Jay.
However, we can’t make the judgement of who’s winning based on the amount of search queries; we’ll have a short discussion on that later.
With the elections day scheduled for 27 August, Yahoo! Singapore has seen a dramatic surge in searches around the ‘presidential polling day’ which rose 80,200% in the week ending August 7. But, who is utilizing search marketing? Only Tony Tan is.
Who’s Winning on Social Media
President Obama clearly illustrated the importance of social media, especially Facebook for politicians; yet, not all four candidates learned the lesson nor any mastered “how”.
Dr. Tony Tan’s Faceboob Page is not well setup with merely 1500+ fans; the last Page post is on August 22, which is four days ago. The level of interactions and engagement is very low. One interesting thing I notice is that, someone set up a Page against him:
Dr. Tan Cheng Bock‘s Page is so much better with over 11,000 fans:
But, there is not so much interactions or engagement with his fans.
Tan Jee Say has got slightly more fans than Dr. Tan Cheng Bock; and, he’s “winning” in terms of more personalized posts on Facebook Page. And, Tan Kin Lian’s Page has less than 4,000 fans.
Overall, Tan Jee Say is a winner on Facebook; but, no one is doing a very good job on Facebook, missing a big opportunity here considering about 80% of Singapore Internet users are on Facebook.
It’s not a surprise if you don’t see much engagement on Twitter since they’re not even “ready” for Facebook. But, this doesn’t stop Singapore Twitter users discuss about the election.
Only Tan Jee Say and Tan Kin Lian have Twitter account with less than 1000 followers. And, the level of mentions about them are not high.
Tony Tan is the most talked about candidate in Singapore blogsphere. Besides, online forums and discussion boards are also very popular in Singapore like many other countries in Asia; monitoring the conversation and making timely responses are critical for online reputation management.
Is Tony Tan Going to Win?
What we have analyzed so far can only lead to one conclusion: Tony Tan received the most amount of interest and attention in Singapore for Presidential Election, which does not mean he is going to win without sentimental analysis.
If many discussions online are negative about Tony Tan, he’s going to get the least number of votes.
I just did a quick sentimental analysis on Twitter conversations with tweetfeel, and found that only about half of conversation on Twitter about “Tony Tan” is positive. The most positively talked about candidate is Tan Jee Say. However, the amount of discussions on each candidate is not enough to draw any conclusions.
Another analysis using social mention shows that discussions about Tan Jee Say is the most positive (6:1) and Tan Cheng Bock the least positive (3:1).
Of course, this analysis is far from being complete to have an acceptable degree of accuracy for predicting the next Singapore president; even small things like how a candidate smiles can make a big difference. The purpose of this post is simply to check out the candidates’ “efforts” online and make a simple case study for businesses.
Tony Tan utilized search very well; but none are making good use of social media (Tan Cheng Bock and Tan Jee Say did the best on Facebook among all four candidates). If I’m to give some suggestions to the candidates, I’d put campaign strategy on the top of the agenda. If Obama didn’t catch the strong desire of American people to “CHANGE”, his digital campaigns can’t get him to the white house.
If every candidate has a good strategy, digital campaigns can help them get the message out more effectively in terms of time, reach and impact.