The European election campaign, in words and hashtags

Calls to vote, announcements for debates and rallies, but also references to the key issues: here’s a look at what, and how, outgoing MEPs tweeted in the runup to the European elections.

This word cloud shows the frequency of terms used in tweets by MEPs containing the hashtag #EuElections2019. The Quote Finder  tool allows for customized analysis and the tracking of other relevant information.

Only a few days remain in this election cycle, and obviously there‘s no lack of tweets and hashtags on the matter, posted by MEPs in various languages. To this we can add the more “personal” tweets appealing for votes. However, even when we just focus on the words most frequently associated with certain hashtags, a clear picture of the central themes, arguments and moods emerges. 

The tool

The article takes advantage of the research and analysis possibilities provided by the Quote Finder   tool developed by EDJNet, which allows to follow the tweets and hashtags used by all MEPs.

#EuElections2019 has been the most frequently used English-language hashtag by outgoing MEPs this month. While these tweets mostly contain positive words such as “great”, “support”, “good” and “important”, there are also negative terms, used less frequently, such as “racist”, racists”, and “fascist”.

Among the words most frequently associated with #EP2019 – besides references to the election process itself and the number 24, the date when Britain votes – are those relating to climate change.

The most widespread hashtags were used by members of virtually all the current parliamentary groups. In French, #Europeennes2019 contains numerous references to the migration issue, in tweets by members of the European People’s Party – and claims concerning their determination to fight illegal immigration: “solidarity is not just for the European Union”.

While Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL) deploys the same hashtag and topic, she instead recalls how 2.5 million French citizens have left France to live abroad – these people, however, aren’t called “migrants”.

The most angry, belligerent emoticons tend to amass around #Europeennes2019 and similar hashtags, with ENF (Europe of Nations and Freedom) appealing for votes for their French electoral list:

In Italy, on the other hand, there is a local dimension to this election campaign, as shown in MEPs’ tweets. This is because Italy will be electing 76 MEPs at the same time as it renews 3,800 local councils: thus ”mayor” figures among the words found most frequently in tweets containing #europee2019.

In Spanish, many tweets concerning the election campaign posted by MEPs deploy the hashtag #26M. Among these tweets are many warnings not to underestimate the crucial challenge faced by Europe itself: