Political Presence on Facebook during and beyond Election Campaigns: The Portuguese Case





social media, European elections, national elections, user engagement, Facebook


Motivated by the conjecture that traditional political communication patterns and strategies are broken within social network sites, this paper investigates the presence of Portuguese political parties on Facebook during a year with two major elections (European and Legislative), both from the posting activity aspect and the user engagement. The following research questions are formulated: Is it possible to identify distinctive styles adopted by different parties or to demonstrate that their audience acknowledges them in a different manner? If such distinction is possible, can it be correlated with the party’s foundation time, relative size, or place within the political spectrum? Our analysis shows that the common assumptions that older parties do not behave like newer ones fail when tested against the collected data. We also observe higher levels of user engagement attracted by newly founded, minor, and right-leaning parties, compared to their older, major, and left-leaning counterparts, respectively.

Author Biographies

Nazmiye Gizem Bacaksizlar Turbic, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

Computational Social Science Department

Jorge Martins Rosa, NOVA University

Communication Sciences Department




How to Cite

Bacaksizlar Turbic, N. G., & Rosa, J. M. (2023). Political Presence on Facebook during and beyond Election Campaigns: The Portuguese Case. Observatorio (OBS*), 17(2). https://doi.org/10.15847/obsOBS17220232132