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23rd Mar 2018

How the Tories spent £18.5m losing their majority in the 2017 election

And it's even worse for the Lib Dems

Oli Dugmore

And it’s even worse for the Lib Dems

The Conservative party spent £18.5 million losing their parliamentary majority, data released by the Electoral Commission shows.

£2.1 million of that budget was spent on Facebook advertising alone.

Labour spent £11 million and the Lib Dems £6.8 million.

This means that the Liberal Democrats spent £565,693 for every seat they won in the election.

The largest single part of the Tory spend was £4 million to Crosby Textor, the market research firm run by their election guru Sir Lynton Crosby. They also paid more than £500,000 to the political consulting group set up by Jim Messina – Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign manager.

£262,799 of Conservative funds went on helicopters and private jets, including £31,688 for a flight from Southampton to Norwich for Theresa May, her husband, Conservative party staff and journalists.

Digital advertising has become increasingly important to political parties. The Lib Dems’ largest outlay was a £244,000 payment to Facebook. Labour spent just over £500,000 with the Silicon Valley firm.

The Tories spent 367 per cent more on Facebook advertising than Labour did in the same period during the election, whose total came to £577,269.

Despite spending 71.4 per cent of Labour’s Facebook budget, £412,329, the Lib Dems only won 2.4 per cent of Labour’s seats.