KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 ― Facebook users from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor are gradually losing interest in politics as all major political parties have lost a share of their online audience in the past few months, according to Politweet.
In a report, the social media research firm said that PAS, PKR, DAP and Umno all lost a share of their audience between May and July 2017, with DAP coming off worst after losing 24 per cent of its audiences in both states combined for the period of time.
“These states are where we normally find strong Opposition supporters, so the loss is quite significant,” the report said.
Barisan Nasional (BN), on the other hand, suffered greater audience losses between October 2016 and January 2017 among young voter categories.
Among Facebook users aged 21 to 30 years old, the ruling coalition lost 40 per cent of its audience, compared to the Opposition’s 25 per cent loss.
Among the next generation of voters (13 to 20 years old), BN lost 48 per cent of their audience while the Opposition lost 40 per cent.
“Clearly both political sides are losing the interest of the youth on Facebook. This should be a cause for concern for Umno and DAP given that both parties experienced the biggest losses in audience size since 2016,” the report said.
Politweet noted that Umno has lost 43 per cent of its audience aged 21 and above, or 3.3 million users, since November 2016 that saw a high of 7.7 million users, while interest in the DAP dropped from 4.6 million users in May 2016 to 760,000 users in December 2016, before picking up to 1.3 million users last July.
The report noted that while the statistics for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) are not available on Facebook yet, adding the numbers brought in by his party to Pakatan Harapan’s Facebook traction would not make a major difference to their support share.
“This brings the Opposition’s market reach from 48.44 per cent to 51.47 per cent, a very small improvement. Even if Tun Mahathir, PAS, PKR and DAP were on the same side, it is not enough to significantly weaken BN’s reach,” it said.
The report also said that between October 2016 and January 2017, the total number of users interested in political parties dropped from 9.8 million to 6.4 million.
The largest drop was in the 13 to 20 years old age category, with a 46.11 per cent drop, and the 21 to 30 years old category, with a 36.96 per cent drop.
“The message here is that younger generations of Facebook users are losing interest in political parties,” it said.
Notably, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor combined are the only states that lost interest in all the parties across the board, unlike mixed results in other states.
Support for DAP dipped 23 per cent, support for PKR dipped by 9 per cent, support for PAS dipped by 13 per cent, and support for Umno dipped by 7 per cent.