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Will social media determine next NDP leader?

As New Democrats vote in the first round of their leadership election on Friday, a website has already ranked the candidates by their use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. has tallied everything from the number of followers each candidate has on Facebook to the number of times each has tweeted during the campaign.

A pie chart shows Paul Dewar with the greatest percentage of followers (24.2). Nathan Cullen has by far the greatest number of Facebook fans (9,096). Brian Topp has zero fans. He also has a zero Klout score, compared with Dewar's 50 and Cullen's 48.

With 8,665 Twitter followers, Dewar has led the pack since January. Latecomers Peggy Nash (February 27) and Brian Topp (March 12) nevertheless gained more followers than anyone except Dewar. Cullen's Facebook followers have soared dramatically in the past two weeks, while Thomas Mulcair has remained in last position throughout the campaign.

Dewar has been far and away the most prolific tweeter, with over 60 tweets per week through most of February. Niki Ashton out-tweeted him in Late February and early March, while Topp and Mulcair never reached as many as 30 tweets per week.

Cullen sent out 257 tweets, with Dewar trailing at 157 and Mulcair trailing with only 44.

The Politwitter Social Media Score shows Dewar and Cullen neck and neck with 27 and Peggy Nash close behind with 25. Niki Ashton scored 23, Thomas Mulcair 19, and Brian Topp zero. Martin Singh was not included in the tally.

It remains to be seen whether the delegates' votes will reflect these scores.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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