Yesterday SBS released an interactive feature where users could monitor which politicians follow their colleagues on Twitter — and who follows them back. If it sounds like soemthing that would be invented in a modern-day version of Mean Girls, you are on the right track. While it’s unsurprising that most pollies don’t follow many people from the opposite side of the chamber, what is much more interesting is who they follow — or don’t follow — from their own party. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull follows 58 of the possible 123 Liberal and National MPs, with 93 of the Coalition following him. Most of the time, if Turnbull deigns to follow someone it’s reciprocated, except for Tasmanian Liberal Senator and staunch conservative Eric Abetz and the Nationals’ Bruce Scott. There are a few Coalition MPs who neither follow nor are followed by their Prime Minister — Peter Hendy (who seems to just have an egg profile), Christian Porter (who was promoted in the spill), Speaker Tony Smith, South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi, David Bushby and Stephen Parry.
In the Labor camp, there are just two MPs who have no Twitter interaction with their boss Bill Shorten — Laurie Ferguson and Joe Ludwig. The Opposition Leader follows 59 out of a possible 80 Labor MPs, with 64 following him. Shorten doesn’t follow two members of the shadow cabinet (who follow him), though — Mark Dreyfus and Stephen Conroy. Backbencher Pat Conroy is followed by Shorten, but has left his leader hanging, not following him back.
What can we tell from this? Well if it were actually Mean Girls, it could be used to tell who is on the outer with whom.
The tool can be found here, let us know if you get any interesting results.