Gavagai and the most recent Greek election


As we have done previously, we again followed Greek editorial and social media in the days preceding last week’s parliamentary election in Greece. The opinion polls published in the weeks before suggested a neck-to-neck race between the incumbent socialist Syriza party and the main contender, the conservative Nea Demokratia.

Our friend Haralampos Karatzas took our numbers for analysis on his blog on Greek politics (in Swedish). They showed a very different picture: Syriza garnered more attention. As previously, Syriza, as a controversial party, also was the focus of stronger expressions of sentiment than any other party. Last time around, we saw much more than the expected share of skepticism vis-a-vis Syriza: this year, the sentiment was proportional to the frequency of mention.

The elections went on to give Syriza an unexpectedly large victory. Again, this both shows the risks in trusting opinion polls and in the necessity of using the data found in social media as the basis for informed analyses.

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