An analysis of reaction on its online platform by Twitter shows that Enda Kenny was the most talked about leader this evening during the Leaders’ Election Debate which was moderated by Newstalk’s Pat Kenny and TV3’s Colette Fitzpatrick.
Twitter also revealed that Fine Gael was the party that Irish audiences were tweeting about the most during the discussion.
The analysis commissioned by Newstalk showed that the rate of tweets during the programme was on average 380 tweets per minute.
Twitter was most active around the debate at 10.15pm with comments about Joan Burton’s ‘shouting’ which drove a spike in online discussions with a peak of 524 tweets per minute.
The second most popular moment was at 9.31pm when An Tánaiste attacked Gerry Adams early on in the debate with 522 tweets per minute.
Another topic of discussion was at 9.46pm with 505 tweets per minute when Gerry Adams told Micheál Martin to 'catch yourself on' in response to Martin raising the issue of the BBC Spotlight programme. The list of top tweets furnished by Twitter to Newstalk would indicate however that engagement around the debate centred mostly around the leaders’ performance rather than issues.
Here's what those interactions looked like:
Commenting on this evening's debate Kiela Brodigan Digital Director of Newstalk said ‘our own twitter poll suggests that Michael Martin came out on top of the first live leaders' debate. The high level of engagement online this evening clearly demonstrates how pivotal social is and will be for this election. The critical thing however will be to extrapolate sentiment from engagement to build the real picture of what voters are thinking and feeling which is central to Newstalk’s online and on-air election coverage’.
For more reaction and analysis of this evening’s debate tune into Newstalk Breakfast tomorrow from 7am and The Pat Kenny Show from 10am. Listen back to the TV 3 Leaders’ Election Debate in association with Newstalk on http://www.newstalk.com/listen_back