Independents streak ahead of incumbent representatives for online interest

By Melissa Coade

May 11, 2022

woman looking at computer
April’s web traffic showed independent candidates’ websites were outperforming the incumbent MPs’ overall. (pressmaster/Adobe)

An analysis of April web traffic has revealed independent candidates from the electorates of Kooyong, Wentworth, Goldstein, North Sydney, and Mackellar received more visits to their websites than federal incumbent MPs.

Data assessed by Similarweb found a ‘surge’ in website visitors last month to the sites of independents running in Wentworth, Goldstein, North Sydney, and Mackellar.

The result in Kooyong, formerly held by Sir Robert Menzies, was closer. As at 23 April, independent contender Dr Monique Ryan was still up by more than 3,600 extra online visitors to incumbent member of parliament Josh Frydenberg. 

According to the latest reports by The Australian, newspoll figures indicate Frydenberg would lose his blue-ribbon Victorian seat if an election was held today

In former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s old seat of Wentworth, in Sydney, Independent Allegra Spender’s website had received more than 28,500 hits compared to incumbent Liberal politician Dave Sharma’s 9,300 site visits. 

The websites of Liberals Tim Wilson and Trent Zimmerman in Goldstein and North Sydney similarly underperformed, recording about 5,000 less site visits than their independent contenders Zoe Daniel and Kylea Tink

The trend from April’s web traffic statistics showed independents were outperforming the incumbents overall, Similarweb said. 

“​​In April, Allegra Spender’s website has received more than three times the traffic than her opponent, David Sharma (28,636 vs. 9,367),” the web traffic company noted in a statement.

“Kooyong was much closer, with Monique Ryan attracting only a few thousand more visits than Josh Frydenberg in April (37,288 vs 33,670).”

To understand a longer trend, Similarweb also analysed six months of web traffic from ​​October 2021 to March 2022. Frydenberg’s click-through rate improved on this analysis but this was the only difference.

“During this period, Josh Frydenberg received slightly more traffic than Monique Ryan (19,146 vs 17,800),” Similarweb said.

“Otherwise, the independents running in each seat attracted more traffic than the incumbents.”


Campaign groups backing independents closely watched by government

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