A series of Facebook adverts attacking Sarah Wollaston, who defected to Change UK over the party’s Brexit stance before joining the Liberal Democrats earlier this year, has appeared on Facebook.
Wollaston has been the sole focus of a series of focused ads appear on the social media monopole, which accuse her of “betraying Brexit” by joining the Lib Dems.
In one promotion, she’s depicted alongside Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Scottish National Party chief Nicola Sturgeon and Liberal Democrat head Jo Swinson, along with the caption “Should Sarah Wollaston be working with these politicians to stop Brexit?”, in another she’s featured in monochrome against a vibrant red background.
Only a dangerous & incompetent Govt would knowingly & deliberately inflict this chaos on its people. This isn’t ‘worst case scenario’, it’s what Johnson knows will unfold & is completely at odds with his false reassurance to the public. https://t.co/BypR2CHWqN— Sarah Wollaston MP (@sarahwollaston) August 18, 2019
Every ad has an accompanying poll, asking users whether she should “get away with ignoring the referendum result” - the personal information of those who vote is in turn collected by the Conservatives.
The campaign was launched 16th August, and has so far cost approximately £1,500 – neither Heidi Allen nor Anna Soubry, also Conservative MPs who defected to Change UK at the same time as Wollaston, have been targeted in this manner. Given the data collection involved in the effort, it may indicate an intention by the party to deselect Wollaston and hold a by-election in her constituency to replace her.
Our newest MP Dr @sarahwollaston on the next steps to stopping no deal Brexit.— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) August 15, 2019
Demand better than Boris Johnson and his chaotic Brexit.
Help us stop Brexit now > https://t.co/Mp2XkNJx4v pic.twitter.com/48KF5NgAYX
Since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, the Conservative party has significantly increased its spending on Facebook ads, pumping just over £86,0o0 into targeted advertising on the platform in the 30 days to 17th August, more than the party spent in the previous 60 days, and over three times the amount spent by Labour (£23,135) over the same time period. The Lib Dems’ paltry spend amounted to little over £4,000. The promotional material has typically centred on Johnson’s ability to “deliver Brexit”.