Donnelly was most Googled leader during debate

Tuesday 16 February 2016 18.22
Stephen Donnelly accounted for 21% of the total searches for the seven leaders
Stephen Donnelly accounted for 21% of the total searches for the seven leaders

Google has said that Social Democrats joint leader Stephen Donnelly was the most searched leader during last night’s Claire Byrne Leaders’ Debate on RTÉ One.

The consensus appears to be that the smaller parties performed best in the debate, and that is perhaps reflected in the data from the search engine.

Google Trends found that the most searched party leader on Google during the debate was Stephen Donnelly, followed closely by AAA-PBP representative Richard Boyd-Barrett, with Renua leader Lucinda Creighton in third.

Donnelly accounted for 21% of the total searches for the seven leaders, with Boyd-Barrett on 20% and Creighton on 17%.

Labour leader Joan Burton and Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams were in the middle of the field with 14% and 12% respectively, while Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny taking a 9% share and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin accounting for just 7% of searches.

In terms of the issues, jobs was the number one topic. Tax, education, crime and healthcare rounded out the top five most searched issues during the debate.

Meanwhile, the top five trending questions on the election were:

What do Fine Gael promise?

What do Renua Ireland promise?

Who should I vote for in the Irish general election?

When is the Irish general election?

How do I find out my constituency?

Methodology: Data shows search interest during the Irish leaders' debate (9.35pm - 11.35pm, Monday 15th Feb 2016). Data applies to Ireland only. For the most searched issues we compared a collated list of issues for search interest during the debate.