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With or without you? Social media in Portuguese political campaigning

Rui Novais
University of Liverpool
Diana Andrade
Álvaro Cúria
Rui Novais
University of Liverpool
Open Panel

Abstract

Based on a combination of methodologies comprising a survey, a content analysis of Twitter and Facebook of the leading candidates as well as qualitative interviewing of the key campaign strategists, this article assesses the implementation of e-campaigns in the recent 2011 presidential elections in Portugal. It concludes that although the elections were marked by an unprecedented assortment of traditional and new utensils in the campaign’s electoral toolbox, the impact and influence of social media has been quite humble if compared to what had been heralded. Indeed, still going through the maturation stage lagging behind the expected results in view of its informative and communicative potential, the social media were used only as a convenient and occasional complement to traditional folkloric street campaigning.