Election campaigns of recent years have had a huge digital focus, as nominees look to the internet to drive their campaigns to the widest possible audiences.
In the UK today, voters are going to the polls for local elections, with much of the media’s focus on the London Mayoral Candidacy.
Analysing the cumulative backlink data over the past month for the two leading candidates (The Conservative’s Boris Johnson, and Labour’s Ken Livingstone) election campaign websites shows an interesting tussle, with Boris Johnson’s ‘Back Boris’ website taking the lead following a recent surge in new links to the site.
In the 2008 US Presidential Elections, a record-breaking 46 per cent of Americans used the internet to get news about the campaigns, and Barack Obama’s focus on digital marketing has repeatedly been highlighted as one of the key factors that lead to his Presidential win.
With politicians the world over seeking to emulate Obama’s digital campaign success, and using their campaign website as the cornerstone of their marketing, could a look at the backlink data for upcoming elections across the globe highlight potential wins prior to the election results being published?
Interestingly, the final poll figures in the London elections match the lead found in the backlink data, with Boris set to head for victory in the race to be re-elected as Mayor with a six point win.
Key upcoming elections across the globe this year include the French Presidential elections, as well as the US Presidential elections. Looking at backlink data again over the past 30 days highlights Francois Hollande’s website taking a strong lead over Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign platform.
Likewise, in the United States, Barack Obama appears to be surging ahead of Mitt Romney in terms of the number of backlinks directed at their campaign websites.
Whilst many factors of course play a part in each election across the planet, a look at the backlink data is interesting, and highlights both the impact that the candidates are having across the web, but also the immensely hard work each campaign team must be putting into harnessing the internet as a key communications channel to the voters.