Love hearts and frowny faces: Stats reveal how New Zealand's politicians are faring on Facebook

Which politicians inspire love on social media and which drive anger? Who's the busiest bee in the Beehive?

From left, NZ First leader Winston Peters, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick and National leader Judith Collins.

1 NEWS has analysed New Zealand's MPs on Facebook to find out who's the most popular and how people feel about their posts.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is the dominant figure on the social media site, racking up an impressive 1.3 million followers.

Of those, more than 1.2 million "liked" her since the last election.

She's followed by NZ First leader Winston Peters on 97,000 likes and Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick on 58,000.

A graphic representation of the most popular NZ politicians on Facebook. Jacinda Ardern: 1,317,818. Winston Peters: 97,169. Chloe Swabrick: 58,480. Simon Bridges: 52,516. Judith Collins: 39,917.

Former National Party leader Simon Bridges is in fourth place with 52,000 likes, followed by current leader Judith Collins on 39,000.

While he doesn't make the overall top five, National MP Todd Muller saw a spike in popularity during his short stint as National's leader.

A graphic representation of the NZ politicians with the most growth on Facebook. Jacinda Ardern 1,210,643, up 1130%. Simon Bridges 39,486, up 303%. Todd Muller 32,640, up 975%. Chloe Swarbrick 28,352, up 94%. Judith Collins 24,721, up 163%.

Nearly 10 times as many people "like" Muller now compared to the 2017 election, up to 35,000, with most of those following him within the last few months.


Having followers is one thing, but are people actually interacting with the MPs?

More than 6.7 million people have engaged with Jacinda Ardern over the last three years, with around 4.5 million "likes" and 1.9 million "loves" on her posts.

The next top-engaged MP is Chlöe Swarbrick, getting 828,000 interactions across her posts - that's the combination of "likes", reactions, comments and shares.

A graphic representation of NZ's most engaged-with politicians on Facebook. Jacinda Ardern 6,606,659. Chloe Swarbrick 994,459. Simon Bridges 770,144. David Seymour 746,100. Chris Bishop 571,041.

Simon Bridges is third, followed by ACT leader David Seymour in fourth with 540,000 interactions - largely driven by "like", "haha" and "angry" reactions.

Chris Bishop rounds out the top five, partly thanks to his sheer number of posts. The National MP has posted around 3.5 times a day since the 2017 election, on average, securing him the top spot as the most active MP.


More than three million "love" reactions have been left on MPs' posts, almost two-thirds of them directed at Ms Ardern.

Green MP Chloe Swarbrick and Green co-leader Marama Davidson are the next most "loved", followed by Labour's Willow-Jean Prime and the Green's Golriz Ghahraman.

More than three-quarters of the MPs getting "love" reactions are from Labour, while around one in 10 "loves" head towards the Greens and National each.

On the other side, just 1.6 per cent of "loved" posts are by NZ First MPs, followed by ACT at 1.1 per cent.

A graphic representation of NZ's reactions to politicians on Facebook. Love: Labour 76%, Green 11%, NZ First 2%, National 10%, ACT 1%. Angry: Labour 12%, Green 10%, NZ First 3%, National 65%, Act 10%. Sad: Labour 47%, Green 13%, NZ First 2%, National 36%, ACT 2%. Wow: Labour 40%, Green 8%, NZ First 3%, National 45%, ACT 4%. Haha: Labour 30%, Green 12%, NZ First 5%, National 43%, ACT 10%.

When it comes to "anger", ACT leader David Seymour gets the most 'angry' reactions at 17,332, followed by National's Simon Bridges and Chris Bishop at 16,990 and 14,570 respectively.

Ms Ardern and National MP Simeon Brown wrap up the top five for "anger" at just over 11,000 reactions each.

Of the posts getting "angry" reactions, nearly two-thirds are from National MPs. 

Twelve per cent are posts by Labour MPs, followed by the Greens at 10 per cent, ACT at 9.7 per cent and NZ First at 2.8 per cent.

The data was obtained via CrowdTangle, which is owned by Facebook. It collated information from the election on September 23, 2017, to July 24, 2020.

It does not include data from departing MPs Raymond Huo, who was the only MP without a public Facebook page, or Andrew Falloon or Iain Lees-Galloway, both of whom deactivated their existing profiles within the last month.