How 2016 South African Municipal Elections Performed on Social Media

As we publish this post, we are left with less than 3hrs before closing of the polls for South Africa’s most contested municipal elections in the country’s 22 years of democracy. This is the 4th time Mzansi is having this category of democratic elections.

It has become practice with events of this magnitude on the African continent that we track their online mentions. In this post, we are focusing specifically on associated hashtags. The social network proxies used for this post are Twitter and Instagram.

2016 Municipal Elections Hashtags

Here are the top 10 hashtags for the elections:

hashtags data by

Of the hashtags in the Hashtagify graph above, we identified the following top 3 using @keyhole – #ElectionDay, #ivoted and #LGE2016.

Overall findings and insights based on trends and pie charts below:

  • TOTAL VOLUME TRENDS. Social media activity ramped up from 10am. We speculate that this points to the time when most netizens started going to the polling stations.
    • Of the top 3 hashtags, #ElectionDay and LEG2016 peaked at midday and declined thereafter; while #ivoted peaked 2 hours later – at 2pm. As would be expected, as more people voted, this hashtag continued to trend for a while longer.
  • SHARE OF POSTS. #ivoted’s share of posts are mainly original (62%). This points to a possibility that those who voted were keen to tell the world about it themselves as opposed to just RT’ing others.
  • TOP SOURCES. Most of the mentions have been mentioned using mobile devices (average >60% of total posts). With #ivoted having the lowest contribution of desktop mentions at 11%,  this could suggest netizens posting with this hashtag are at polling stations and not at home.
  • SENTIMENT. Online mentions for these elections have been positive. We attribute this to the smooth operations of the IEC.
  • DEMOGRAPHICS. Male netizens have been more interested in the elections. But it seems more females voted, if #ivoted can be used as a good predictor.


RELATED POST: Growing democratic election momentum is good for Africa


Top 1 Hashtag: #ElectionDay

Total Volume:


Top 5 Influencers:


Additional stats:







Top 2 Hashtag: #ivoted

Total Volume:


Top 5 Influencers:


Additional stats:








Top 3 Hashtag: #LGE2016

Total Volume:


Top 5 Influencers:


Additional stats:


eNitiate_lge__2016_Share_of_Posts_3_August_2016 eNitiate_lge_2016_Sentiment_3_August_2016


eNitiate_lge_2016_Top_Sources_3_August_2016 eNitiate_lge_2016_Demographicst_4_August_2016

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