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Twitter Election Advertising Ban – Will It Affect UK 2019 General Election?

Twitter is to ban all political advertising. The ban will be take place from 22 November, with full details announced by 15 November.

No political adverting is allowed on UK television outside of the official party political broadcasts, so the ability to  directly share video messages on social media platforms was aan oppourtinity to get around this problem. For the first time in the UK we started to see ‘attack ads’ that are very popular in the US:

But what impact will this have on the 2019 UK General Election?

UK Social Media Usage in 2019

84% of all UK adults are using social media on a regular basis, and 95% of the UK adults online are using it for social media.

For the youth, the figures are even higher, with nearly everyone aged 16-24 uses social media on a weekly basis according to the most recent report from Ofcom, with 99% using social media once a week or more.

Social Media Advertising Spend on 2017 General Election

There was a stark difference in the investment across the different social media channels:

Facebook: £3m. Conservatives £2m. Labour £500,000. Liberal Democrats £300,000.

Google (which owns YouTube):  £1m. Conservatives £500,000, Labour £210,000, Liberal Democrats £170,000.

Twitter: £56,500

Snap Chat: Labour £64,000 in the last week alone

The ads were targeted regionally, with specific targets mainly at marginal seats. With the Conservatives concentrating on northern England

There were frequent complains about the Conservative’s YouTube Ads interrupting peoples viewing. Which is not making the  

Different Policies from the main parties

While the Conservatives certainly spent more on advertising than Labour, it was generally considered that Labour won the social media battle with its use of organic posts.

While the Conservative focus seemed to be sharp, paid-for attack ads.

What happened in the 2017 General Election?

The two leaders had contrasting strategies with Labour using organic social reach to encourage voters to sign up to vote and then to vote for Labour. They used social media influencers and celebrities to help get their message across.

Data from the Oxford Internet Institute showed that conversation about the Labour party on Twitter grew over time and dominated election-related traffic on the platform.

As the election deadline drew closer, Labour’s efforts in dominating social media became increasingly obvious. From June 1 to June 7, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn added over 90,000 followers on Twitter, compared with just 20,000 for May, according to data from media analytics firm Social Bakers.

Probable Impact of the Decision by Twitter

Based on the above information, the impact of Twitter banning political adverting will be low but, for sure, there will be something to replace it