Who won the WA leaders’ debate? The bad news for the political parties is it was the Adelaide United Football Club, whose tussle with Japanese team Gamba Osaka captured far more views and interest and led the Perth trending Twitter conversation between the crucial period of 6.30-7pm.
The #2017debate captured a brief blink of attention on social media channels, accumulating 700-odd mostly neutral mentions during its half-hour slot.
Despite the media reach — and the best efforts of TV stations to talk up the debate — it failed to excite WA voters. Traction was limited to about 10 minutes of blue-tie versus blue-tie chatter.
The opening statement, first questions and a bit of back and forth got some people tweeting, but then interest fell off a cliff.
Here are a few stalwarts who got engaged in the fray:
— Matt Keogh MP (@mattkeogh) February 22, 2017
And all the Hollywood movies make you think cocaine is the high end drug. Turns out it’s meth! https://t.co/NpyorBYqAZ
— Colleen Egan (@ColleenEgan1) February 22, 2017
— aidan (@AidanCatt) February 22, 2017
And even the journalists were struggling to get much enthusiasm going:
The surprise social star on the night of the big debate (at least as far as the social channels were concerned) was neither Mark McGowan nor Colin Barnett but Greens candidate for the seat of Perth, Hannah Milligan, who took a green pen to The West Australian’s editorial today and then published her edited results. She rated higher in mentions than either leader, or Pauline Hanson.
We are past the half-way mark in this election campaign but clearly voters are unprepared to engage in the old election formula of talking head versus talking head.