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14 November 2019

Tories spend thousands on targeted advertising in Boris Johnson’s seat

In a sign of nervousness about a slender majority, the Tories have spent more than £8,000 on Facebook and Snapchat ads in Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the past month. 

By Patrick Maguire

The Conservatives have spent thousands of pounds on online advertisements targeted at voters in Boris Johnson’s constituency, new data has revealed. 

In a potential sign of nervousness about the Prime Minister’s slender majority, the Tories paid more than £8,000 for Facebook and Snapchat advertisements seen by voters in Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the past month. 

Labour cut Johnson’s majority in half to 5,034 in 2017, and Momentum has made his outer London constituency a focal point for its campaigning efforts.

Data collected by campaign group Who Targets Me reveals the Conservatives have responded in kind, albeit digitally, by spending funds from its national campaign budget on online adverts in Johnson’s seat.

CCHQ has spent more than £2,300 on six Snapchat adverts – viewed two million times in Uxbridge and South Ruislip alone – since the campaign began. It also spent £6,000 on Facebook adverts displayed 700,000 times in October and November.

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Who Targets Me co-founder Sam Jeffers said the spending suggested CHHQ were making a proactive effort to counter Labour’s pitch to younger voters. “The Conservatives’ use of national campaign funds on online ads in Uxbridge suggests they think the threat of Johnson being dethroned is very real,” he said. “The focus on Snapchat appears to be an attempt to counter Labour’s message and reach younger voters.”