Tories outgun Labour on election Facebook adspend, but less money goes on ads overall

The Conservatives invested £1.2m in Facebook advertising in the run-up to May's general election, while Labour spent just £16,454.67 on the social media platform, according to new figures released by the Electoral Commission.

Tories outgun Labour on election Facebook adspend, but less money goes on ads overall

Labour's focus on Twitter over Facebook is viewed as one of the party's many errors during its election campaign.

The figures also show the Tories paid Lynton Crosby’s firm a hefty £2.4m in the run-up to the election for "market research/canvassing". Crosby, who engineered an unlikely majority for the Conservatives, recently received a controversial knighthood for "political service".

Campaign spending by the biggest political parties in the fortnight ahead of the 2015 general election was 19 per cent higher than the 2010 figure at nearly £37m.

The six largest political parties spent £36.7m during the regulated two-week period to 7 May last year, compared with £30.9m in the run-up to the 2010 election, the regulator's figures show.

The figure refers to spending by the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, UKIP, SNP and Green parties and does not include certain costs such as staffing or candidate spending.

The Conservatives spent £15.6m in the two weeks, while the Labour Party spent £12.1m and the Lib Dems £3.5m, UKIP £2.9m and the remaining parties both less than £1.5m.

A breakdown of the figures shows that spending on advertising by all of the largest political parties has fallen from a high of £16.1m in 2005, to £9.4m in 2010, and a little less than £7m in 2015.

Conversely, spending on mailshots and market research has risen during the same period, from £12.3m in 2005 to £22.1m in 2015.

Overall, the Electoral Commission said £39m was spent by a total of 57 parties and 23 non-party campaigners in the run-up to 2015, compared with £34m by 40 parties and 24 non-party campaigners in 2010.

Lastly, the records also show that Labour spent £577.58 on chicken suits.

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