What the past 7 days can tell us about political parties social activity

Nov 21st, 2019

With December on the horizon, it’s not long until UK voters head to the polls to cast their vote for the political party they want to see in Government.

With Boris Johnson calling a snap General Election back in October, we wanted to discover how political parties are utilising social media ad spend, to drive their campaigns. Since our last findings were revealed, we wanted to re-evaluate the social ads and conversation surrounding each of the main parties, to see if there has been any significant developments

The Conservative Party

On Tuesday night the nation tuned in to ITV to witness a live debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn. During the debate we heard the two party leaders give their opinions on Brexit, the NHS and austerity; but how is Boris Johnson fairing in the lead up to the election?

Over the past 7 days the Conservative Party have released 17 ads on social media, with a total spend of £31,935; which is considerably less than our first report (£60,161). From what we can see, the Conservatives are targeting their paid ads towards men aged 45+.

When it comes to organic social, the number of mentions for the Conservative Party has increased greatly, from 592k to 788k. One thing both Boris Johnson and the Conservatives will find appealing is the negative sentiment surrounding the party, which has dropped from 48% to 45%.

total spend

The Labour Party

A large number of viewers were left impressed by Jeremy Corbyn’s performance on ITV’s debate; but has the Labour Party seen an improvements when it comes to social media stats?

Since our last report, the Labour Party have increased their social media ad spend considerably. Over the past 7 days a total of £66,611 has been spent on 180 ads, with females under the age of 45 being the target.

Similar to the Conservatives, the Labour Party have seen an improvement in the amount of negative conversation surrounding the party. When our social team first looked, the Labour Party had 42% negative sentiment, whereas today the figure has dropped to 45%.

The Liberal Democrats

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson had to wait until after the debate to put her opinions to the public, along with the other main party leaders.

The most noticeable difference surrounding the Lib Dems is the amount the party is spending on social ads. Over the past 7 days 4,100 have been created by the Lib Dems, totalling a huge £86,675. Both the Lib Dems and Labour do have one thing in common, it would appear they’re looking to target women under the age of 45.

Looking at organic social surrounding the Lib Dems, there hasn’t been a great amount of change. Total mentions over the past 7 days are at 138k and there has been a small improvement in the social conversation aimed at the party.

Since 7th November, the negative sentiment percentage has decreased by 3%, whereas the positive sentiment has increased by 1%; so this will appeal to the Lib Dems.

negative sentiment

The Brexit Party

Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party have the biggest hill to climb, as their new party try and secure the vote of Brexiteers who want to put an end to this political fiasco.

Compared to the Labour and the Lib Dems, the Brexit Party have spent considerably less on social ad spend, with £21,993 being put behind 91 ads. The Party’s demographic is similar to that of the Conservatives, with males over the age of 45 being their priority.

Conversation surrounding the Brexit Party has seen much of a change, with negative sentiment showing at 36%, however, the parties positive sentiment has seen an improvement and currently stands at 29%.

What are the key social findings to date?

From the research we’ve been able to discover, over the past 7 days the Lib Dems have surpassed Labour with the highest amount spent on social media ads.

It’s interesting to see the topic on each of the parties’ lips and for the Conservatives and the Lib Dems, it appears they’re talking about the Labour Party more than anything.

According to Ads Library, Labour and the Lib Dems are specifically targeting females, however, social listening tells us a different story, as all of the parties are mainly reaching a male audience.

It’s the Conservatives who top the table with the most social mentions, however, almost half of these have a negative sentiment.

Click on the image below to reveal more findings.

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