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Conservatives blew £1m on anti-Corbyn Facebook ads

By Ben Kentish

The Conservatives spent over £1m on negative Facebook campaign adverts attacking Jeremy Corbyn, reports suggest.

A series of videos and graphics showing the Labour leader's past comments on debt, anti-terror laws and the IRA were promoted by the official Tory account.

In contrast, Labour focused on a positive, uplifting campaign aimed at rallying its own supporters - a strategy that experts say helped the party to a shock election result.

The Who Targets Me? project, which monitors advertising on Facebook, suggested Labour's messages were targeted more broadly than the Tories'. In the last two days of campaigning, the project reported Labour adverts being displayed to voters in 464 constituencies compared to Tory adverts in just 205.

Labour's campaign also featured endorsements from a number of celebrities including Stormzy, JME and Akala.

According to analysis by Buzzfeed News, stories about Mr Corbyn's celebrity endorsements were the most shared election-related articles on Facebook. Such articles were shared around 971,700 times, significantly more than stories relating to Labour's rise in the opinion polls, which received around 557,600 shares.

Sharing between users also meant campaigning group Momentum only needed to spend £2,000 advertising its content on Facebook.

In contrast, the Conservatives spent over £1m on Facebook posts that mostly included negative messages attacking Jeremy Corbyn for comments he had made in the past.

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