"Nuclear power" far eclipsed other phrases such as "the Olympics" and "welfare and aging issues" in Twitter messages about Sunday's Tokyo gubernatorial poll, a research firm's data show. The finding is in sharp contrast to a conventional phone poll that indicated "the economy" is the top focus.

Hotlink Inc., an analyzer of big data, checked a total of 319,000 messages between Jan. 23 and Feb. 2 that contain both "Tokyo governor" and references to election issues. Posts from those living outside Tokyo were not excluded, the company said.

In the period, "nuclear power" topped the list with around 214,000 tweets. "The Olympics" came in second with roughly 39,000 posts. "Welfare, aging issues" followed with some 29,000 messages.

A telephone poll conducted by Kyodo News on 1,040 randomly selected Tokyo voters on Feb. 1 and 2 found the top issue was "the economy and employment," followed by "the low birthrate, aging and welfare" and then "nuclear power, energy issues."

A daily breakdown indicates that the most tweets related to the election, around 50,000, were sent on Jan. 23, when campaigning for the Feb. 9 election kicked off. That day, there were roughly 29,000 posts containing "nuclear power."