07 Dec

Performance of Left-Wing Parties and Isolation Measures Are Topics on Social Media During an Election Marked by Victories of Center Parties

Groups aligned with the right wing celebrate the defeats of PSOL, PCdoB and PT, but put themselves as oppositions to the winners

Updated 14 de December, 2020 at 11:19 am

A study conducted by the Department of Public Policy Analysis of Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV DAPP) identified approximately 421.1 thousand mentions on Twitter about the second round of the municipal elections of Sao Paulo, between 5 pm of Sunday (29) and 12 pm of Wednesday (02). Considering the election results, a large part of the debate is centered around the general evaluations about the performance of left-wing candidates in Brazil, with many posts affirming the strengthening of such parties in the election. A lot of comments also criticized Sao Paulo’s population’s choice, bringing up matters of management of the newly reelected Mayor Bruno Covas (PSDB). Another factor of strong mobilization in the debate circled around the declarations of the Governor of Sao Paulo João Doria (PSDB) regarding the social isolation measures in the State before the second round of the municipal elections. Many attacks from mostly right wing profiles to the Governor pointed out what they consider to be contradictions in his decision regarding the restrictions during the pandemic.

Evolution of the Mentions in the 2nd Round of Municipal Elections
From 5 pm, November 29, to 12 pm, December 2, 2020

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

With most of the profiles and interactions, the group in Blue was composed of influencers aligned with the right wing, who celebrated the defeats of Guilherme Boulos, in Sao Paulo, and Manuela D’Ávila in Porto Alegre. The celebrations, however, were accompanied by some pessimism regarding the engagement of sectors in this field, pointing out the record number of abstentions and oppositions to Covas’ management. Among the highlighted profiles, there are the State Congressman Douglas Garcia (PTB-SP), the commentator Rodrigo Constantino, and the influencers Joaquin Teixeira and Luiz Galeazzo.

Map of Interactions about the 2nd round in Sao Paulo
From 5 pm on November 29 to 12 pm on December 2, 2020

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

The Yellow Group also gathered profiles that oppose the left wing. A couple of highlights are the humorous profile Corrupção Brasileira Memes and Danilo Gentili, who celebrated the defeats of candidates from PT, PCdoB, and PSOL, and criticized electors from other cities voicing their opinions on the elections from Sao Paulo.

Now, the support group of Guilherme Boulos was composed of a combination of four groups, who together represented 27% of profiles and 27.9% of interactions in the debate. The main group was the Red one, which was composed of politicians and influencers such as Felipe Neto, Mídia Ninja, William de Lucca, Maria Bopp, Xico Sá, Marcelo Freixo and Sâmia Bomfim, besides Guilherme Boulos himself, and focused on the route to be followed by the left wing in the next few years as well as the consolidation of Boulos and Manuela as leaders in this context. The communication and campaign strategies, especially the digital ones, utilized by Boulos and Erundina were celebrated as another positive legacy for other left-wing parties and oppositions.

Lastly, the Pink and Green Groups made humorous and opposing tweets to the population of Sao Paulo. Composed of profiles from other States, they made comments as external observers, lamenting the choice for Bruno Covas through arguments, as well as jokes and memes.

The second round in Rio de Janeiro, in turn, was the subject of more than 141.1 thousand posts on Twitter, according to the same study. The defeat of Marcelo Crivella (Republicanos) in the ballots mobilized a positive reaction in a large part of the debate. At the same time, the debate voices concern over the election of Eduardo Paes (DEM), promising attention and close investigation to the management of the newly elected mayor.

Map of Interactions about the 2nd Round in Rio de Janeiro
From 5 pm on November 29 to 12 pm on December 2

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

Composed of conservative groups, the Blue Group presented a more cohesive behavior in the debate, commenting on the great number of void and blank votes, as well as abstentions, in Rio, which would have surpassed the votes obtained by Paes or Crivella.

The defeat of Marcelo Crivella was celebrated by groups that added up to 11.7% of profiles and 11.8% of interactions in the debate. The Red, Green and Purple Groups, mostly composed of profiles aligned with the left wing, showed preference to Paes over Crivella, labelled as the “worst mayor in the history of the city”, at the same time they also showed concern over the next administration. In turn, the Groups Pink and Yellow were divided between the endorsement over the victory of Paes and humorous posts that pictured possible measures from Paes based on the positive memory of his management, such as the expansion of BRT.

In the same period, 141.7 thousand mentions to the elections in Porto Alegre were identified. Alongside the closure of the elections in Sao Paulo, the defeat of Manuela D’Ávila (PcdoB) was pointed out as evidence of the decline of the left wing in the country. The result in the ballots of the capitol of Rio Grande do Sul was also used by conservative profiles to imply the inefficacy of election polls. Finally, the study counted up to 75.9 thousand posts regarding the second round in Recife. In spite of eventual posts congratulating the participation of Marília Arraes (PT) in the race, the debate took advantage of the defeat of the PT candidate to reinforce the narrative of the strengthening of other parties in the country.

On Facebook, elections in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, and Recife generate more than 7.6 million of interactions

On Facebook, the debate about the elections in Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre added up to more than 15.7 thousand posts in public pages and groups, being framed similarly due to the defeat of left-wing candidates. Among the main influencers from the conservative field, a couple of highlights were the Federal Congresswoman Bia Kicis (PSL-DF) and the State Congressman and candidate to the City Hall in Sao Paulo Arthur Moledo do Val (DEM), known by his nickname Mamãe Falei, who added up to more than 220 thousand interactions with images that mocked the defeat of Boulos and Manuela D’Ávila. While Bia Kicis’ post highlighted the defeat of socialist candidates, the image posted by Arthur do Val betted on more elitist references with a text Chora Leblon alongside the images of the two candidates.

The main actors involved in the elections in Rio de Janeiro were also parties that lost in the municipal race. Among almost 7.2 thousand posts published on Facebook groups and pages, profiles aligned with the left wing were highlighted by its great number of interactions. From the ten public pages ang groups with most interactions, five are press vehicles (G1, Jornal Extra, RJTV, R7, and Jovem Pan News) and five institutional profiles or left-wing supporters (Jandira Feghali, Mídia Ninja, Tico Santa Cruz, Tarcísio Motta, and Marcelo Freixo). Among these profiles, the narrative was that Paes would be a better choice than Crivella, even with the disagreements on the political agenda. Finally, less engaged pages centered around news and debates about topics of neighborhoods in the city published humorous messages that “forgave” mistakes and gaffes from Paes’ trajectory, valuing his relationship with the city and its symbols.

Recife added up to around 4.3 thousand posts in public pages and groups in the analyzed period. With low interaction of conservative groups throughout the second round, the end of vote counting led these groups to turn to the capital of Pernambuco motivated by the defeat of the PT candidate Marília Arraes, but, above all, by the consolidation that PT did not elect any candidate in any capital in the country. The victory of PSB over PT in the capital of Pernambuco also motivated mentions in the left field, with messages that drew attention to the success of parties that supported the candidacy of Campos, with highlights to the support of Flávio Dino (PcdoB) and Ciro Gomes (PDT).

Picture 4 ‒ Word Cloud from the 2nd Round in Sao Paulo and Rio
From 5 pm in November 29 to 12 pm in December 2, 2020

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP