An online visibility tracking website created by NUI Galway student David Dolphin has revealed that the 15 independent candidates elected to the 31st Dáil topped web visibility rankings in their constituencies.
The website td2011.com monitored the number of news articles, blog posts and websites which mentioned each candidate’s name in the week running up to the election. According to the results, 12 of the elected independents were the most visible independent candidate in their constituency, while three others had the second most-visible web presence. All elected independents were one of the top 5 most-visible candidates in their constituency.
In order to determine candidates’ positions, Dolphin wrote an algorithm to rank all 566 candidates based their web presence. Web visibility then was monitored for the candidates from 1 February until the day before the election Thursday, 24 February.
Dolphin says, “The results extracted from the website show that the internet is a useful tool independents can use to inform the electorate of the issues they stand for. It highlights the growing role of internet presence as a factor in Irish elections. The web is particularly important for independent candidates as it gives them a voice when they don’t have the brand recognition that comes with party membership.”
Results can be found on www.td2011.com/