French politicians fall in love with tweeting

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Matthew Warren - [email protected]
French politicians fall in love with tweeting
Top tweeting environment minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet by Adam Tinworth

Politicians in France are getting increasingly competitive about their use of Twitter, the social network messaging site, and the number of followers they can attract.


A top ten list of tweeting politicians shows an even political split, with four from the governing UMP party, four from the opposition Socialists, one Green and one centrist politician. 

Top of the tweeting charts is 38-year old environment minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, who had a total of 102,360 followers on Wednesday morning.

Kosciusko-Morizet, known as @nk_m on Twitter, likes to tweet several times a day but tends to keep her messages work-related.

A fellow government minister, Nadine Morano, has openly challenged her lead.

The outspoken Nadine Morano (@nadine_morano) has taken to Twitter with a series of provocative and controversial tweets over recent months in an effort to topple her colleague. She managed 59 tweets on Christmas day alone.

She had 12,228 followers on Wednesday morning but joked with daily newspaper Le Parisien that "I'm getting several hundred each day - I'm on my way!"

Taking a cue from the president of the US, she added "Obama has 12 million. That doesn't scare me." She has even offered to take her 10,000th follower, a man named Julien, out for a coffee.

Recent tweets have included an attack on opposition Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande (@fhollande) about his lack of ministerial experience: "Never chosen to be a minister and now president" ("Jamais il n'a été choisi pour être ministre, alors president.")

Morano has also been in the news after she used Twitter to attack the puppet of her used on satirical TV show Les Guignols de l'Info. 

"I dream, like everyone I meet, to see these pretentious Parisian bobos [bourgeois bohemians]" she tweeted.

Other politicians to have made the news on Twitter this year include industry minister Eric Besson (@Eric_Besson) who mistakenly sent a flirtatious private tweet to all his followers. The tweet said "I'm going to bed when I get home. So exhausted. With you?"

The incident saw a big jump in the number of his followers.

Even prime minister François Fillon has been getting in on the act. It was revealed earlier in December that he had created an account (@fdebeauce) just so he could keep an eye on his tweeting ministers and political rivals.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has so far ignored the call of the 140-character messaging network, although with a tough election approaching it may not be surprising if he soon jumps on board.

Top ten tweeting French politicians (follower numbers on 28th December)

Nathalie Kosicusko-Morizet (@nk_m) 102,360

François Hollande (@fhollande) 81,743

Benoît Hamon (@benoithamon) 80,804

Laurent Wauquiez (@laurentwauquiez) 59,004

Cécile Duflot (@cecileduflot) 39,908

Arnaud Montebourg (@montebourg) 36,812

François Bayrou (@bayrou) 36,225

Martine Aubry (@martineaubry) 35,208

Eric Besson (@eric_besson) 34,047

Valérie Pécresse (@vpecresse) 31,482 (just 100 followers)




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