Labor Lord Mayor candidate Patrick Condren on his phone during a debate with LNP Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner (LNP) and Kath Angus (Greens) Photographer: Liam Kidston
Labor Lord Mayor candidate Patrick Condren on his phone during a debate with LNP Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner (LNP) and Kath Angus (Greens) Photographer: Liam Kidston

Condren’s landslide social media victory

LABOR'S lord mayoral candidate has secured a landslide victory in social media engagement, generating significantly more interactions than the LNP Lord Mayor in the past month.

Storyful analysed interactions - likes, shares and comments - on the Lord Mayoral candidates' social media profiles in the 30 days to March 26.

Mr Condren received 29,000 interactions on posts from his official Facebook page in that time while Cr Schrinner generated only 12,471. Greens Candidate Kath Angus came a distant third.

Mr Condren has 4689 followers on Facebook, while Cr Schrinner has 10,312.

It was maverick Greens Cr Jonathan Sri who came closest to eclipsing Mr Condren on the all-important platform, which features users across a broad demographic, with 21,500 interactions.

Mr Condren also sparked 3,300 interactions on Twitter compared to only around 900 for Cr Schrinner's account - although the former TV journalist has nearly 13,000 followers, compared to Cr Schrinner's 4291.

It was only on Instagram where Schrinner outgunned his rival, with 6,700 interactions, compared to 3,267 from Condren.

Storyful's analysis found the biggest post throughout the election was a tweet from The Courier-Mail sports reporter Robert Craddock, saying it was "simply staggering" the election was going ahead during the deadly virus outbreak.

Labor Brisbane Lord Mayor candidate Patrick Condren at Kangaroo Point. Picture: Peter Wallis
Labor Brisbane Lord Mayor candidate Patrick Condren at Kangaroo Point. Picture: Peter Wallis

Another tweet, from the @ReadingThePlay account, drew a similarly strong reaction after describing those who wanted to push ahead with the election as "selfish jerks".

Despite Mr Condren's social media success and his insistence it was key to a strong campaign, he stopped short of declaring it a precursor to political success.

"Anyone doing any political crystal ball gazing under the present circumstances is a fool to themselves and a burden to others," he said.

"I've covered six state election campaigns, three federal election campaigns and I was in the UK when Tony Blair won working for the BBC and I've never seen a campaign like this.

"All the pollsters got it wrong in May 18 last year, all the experts got it wrong in May 18 last year. So basically, I'll leave it up to the people of Brisbane."

The Lord Mayor's Office said: "this is an election unlike any other that we've seen, and the Lord Mayor's focus for some time now has not been campaigning."

The Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner posing outside City Hall. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning
The Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner posing outside City Hall. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning

"His priority and focus has been on leading the city's response to the coronavirus pandemic," it stated.

The Lord Mayor's Office said social media had been "crucial" in disseminating information on planning, closures and new policies to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

In fact, all of Cr Schrinner's biggest council related posts have all been related to the virus outbreak, while his most successful overall post was a birthday message to his wife, Nina.

Griffith University's Dr Paul Williams said there was "enormous scholarly debate" about the connection between social media savvy and political success.

"There's a weak correlation between social media success and electoral success. Patrick Condren could be blitzing social media and lose on Saturday," he said.

He said social media was an "opt-in system" and opt-in opinion polls were worthless.

"Social media engagements with politicians is very much about those who are motivated voters, it doesn't scoop up the people more worried about coronavirus and whether their kids' schools going to be closed than the mayoral election," he said.

Cr Jonathan Sri poses for a portrait outside Brisbane City Hall ahead the Brisbane Council Elections. Photo: Glenn Hunt / The Australian
Cr Jonathan Sri poses for a portrait outside Brisbane City Hall ahead the Brisbane Council Elections. Photo: Glenn Hunt / The Australian

Originally published as Condren's landslide social media victory