The affective communication patterns of conversations on Twitter can provide insights into the culture of online communities. In this paper we apply a combined quantitative and qualitative approach to investigate the structural make-up and emotional content of tweeting activity around the hashtag #auspol (for Australian politics) in order to highlight the polarity and conservativism that characterise this highly active community of politically engaged individuals. We document the centralised structure of this particular community, which is based around a deeply committed core of contributors. Through in-depth content analysis of the tweets of participants to the online debate we explore the communicative tone, patterns of engagement and thematic drivers that shape the affective character of the community and their effect on its cohesiveness. In this way we provide a comprehensive account of the complex techno-social, linguistic and cultural factors involved in conversations that are shaped in the Twittersphere.