Facebook general election ad campaign spending for south west London candidates revealed

By Jack Howes and Kassandra Jimenez
November 29 2019, 18.25

Facebook advertising spending by south west London General Election candidates totalled nearly £25,000 in the past week.

South West Londoner can reveal Facebook Ad Library figures show the incumbent MP for Richmond Park, Zac Goldsmith, has spent £2,080 this year on Facebook advertising in an attempt to hold onto his seat.

The recently published YouGov MRP poll indicates that Goldsmith is going to lose Richmond Park to the Liberal Democrats’ Sarah Olney by a margin of 13 points.

Kensington was one of the most hotly contested seats at the 2017 election, with Labour winning by a majority of 20 votes. Conservative candidate Felicity Buchan invested £260 this week in an effort to win back the seat the party had held since 1974.

In Richmond, Kingston and Wandsworth there have been at least 29 adverts in November so far, as all of the candidates step up their efforts ahead of the December election.

Earlier this week the register to vote closed for next month’s election, and with less than two weeks to go, the parties have all continued to invest in social media advertising.

The spending in south west London has been dominated by the Conservatives and Labour.

The Liberal Democrats have spent the most nationwide during the last week, investing a staggering £213,187. This is followed by Labour who have spent £129,292, The Brexit Party, £118,482, the Conservatives, £23,137 and The Green Party, a modest £9,696. 

Labour organisation Momentum spent £18,999 in a week on Facebook campaigns, and with reports adverts had encouraged more than 120,000 people to register to vote, with the vast majority of those being younger voters living in marginal constituencies.

Its video ‘We Don’t Want Your Vote’ was viewed more than 1.2 million times.

It has once again highlighted the power of social media to influence younger voters. Since the election was called on 29 October, 67% of those who registered to vote were under the age of 34.

This comes after public figures such as Stormzy and Raheem Sterling took to social media to encourage young people to register to vote, resulting in a record number of 659,666 on Tuesday’s deadline, with as many as 459,000 aged under 34. 

There has been an ongoing campaign for social media outlets to ban political advertisement, something which Twitter has carried out.

Facebook has come under criticism for its role in political campaigns before following Trump’s Presidential campaign and Leave.EU advertisement of the Brexit campaign in 2016.

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