UK Politics

How are the UK's political organisations targeting Facebook users?

Last updated: March 1, 2020

UK Politics


Spend Over Time

First, let's look at the total spend over time by the leading UK political pages since October 2018.

The leading spenders are the UK government, followed by the Liberal Democrats and The Conservatives. The Independent Group for Change spent over £200k in the lead up to the European election.

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Spend By Gender

Below we show the percentage spend of each party by gender.

The Labour party ads have the highest female demographic whereas the Conservative ads have the highest male percentage demographic.

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Spend by Age

Here we take a close look at how different generations are targeted.

The Green Party and London Gov focus heavily on the younger generation with the majority of spend targeted at under 35s.
Conversely, the majority of the Brexit Party and Conservative Party spend is towards those over 45.

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Topic Analysis

This chart shows the spend of each political organisation on particular high profile topics. We look for key terms in each ad that indicates if the content is relating to each topic of interest. One ad may relate to multiple topics, in which case we assign its budget equally across the topics.

Clearly Brexit dominates the political messaging. More recently, the Conservatives and Labour have also focused ads on non-Brexit topics such as crime and the economy. The majority of London Gov ads are relating to social justice and the Mayor of London is also running ads recently relating to climate change.

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Top Regional Spender by Month

With this interactive chart, we can see which entity spent the most in each month since October 2018, by UK region.

The amount spent varies greatly based on the timing of political events, such as the European elections and the Let Us Be Heard march.
The Independent Group for Change spent £191k in England and Wales in May 2019.
The Liberal Democrats were the biggest spenders in August 2019 across England (£32k), Wales (£2k) and Scotland (£3k).

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Amount Spent per Ad

This chart show us how spend is distributed across different types of ads.

The UK government uses a smaller number of ads with larger spend. Conversely, The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats spend less per ad, perhaps indicating greater testing on the platform to see which ads resonate with the audience.

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Spend by Demographic

Next, we can see how each party targets different demographics. The horizontal axis shows the % of spend allocated to a female target audience. The vertical axis shows the average age of the audience targeted by the organisation.

The Brexit Party's ads are shown to an older male audience on average, whilst The Green Party and London Gov pages target a younger, more female audience.

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Find out more

If you're interested in receiving further analysis (e.g. topic modelling of ad content over time) , please do get in touch through our contact form.