Analysis comment News

Tories place 554 Facebook ads in one night as GE looms

Boris Johnson’s first night in No 10 marked by paid social media blitz

The Conservatives marked the national disaster of Boris Johnson’s tenure as Prime Minister with a massive flood of paid advertising on social media, strengthening expectations of an early general election.

The Tories placed no fewer than 554 ads just on Facebook on Wednesday night.

The social media blitz underscores not only the likelihood that a general election is likely before the end of this year, but also their fear of Labour’s organic, grassroots strength and alternative news channels on social media platforms. What the Conservatives can’t emulate, they will try to fake by throwing money at it.

News last year of the Tories’ paid social media efforts

Westminster insiders now also expect an escalation in the Tories’ dirty tricks on social media, with the profusion of bots, sock-puppets and paid accounts likely to grow even further as the Tories try to ‘muddy the waters‘ and prevent inconvenient news reaching voters and activists. Johnson’s appointment of hard right leave and anti-tax campaigners to his media team is another signal.

The diligence and commitment of Labour’s supporters in counteracting the right’s fake-news assaults, trolling and spending are more important than ever.

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  1. Weird Sky news ran with this ,considering the have been the right hand man to the government and peoples vote since Corbyn was elected .looks like Johnsons promise to take us out if the EU has fluttered a few feathers and has niggled their position as a Pro remain anti labour media . Definitely a popcorn moment how will they manage future stories going forwards ?

  2. Matt Lucas does an even better impersonation of Blojob than Blojob does of Benny Hill.
    I hope we see more of it soon.

  3. Deselection must be part of the election campaign preparation!Come on CLPs make us proud….

  4. Going to be a very difficult election once Boris and Farage link up. There seems zero possibility of a Lab/LibDem electoral pact.

    1. And I would hope we never consider a pact with the yellow torys.The
      libs are appalling turncoats and never to be trusted……We have learnt from the last pact we had with the libs……No way jose!

      1. My sense is that a coalition of Johnson and Farage is unlikely. I think Johnson’s overweening pride and ambition would rule out sharing power.
        I don’t see Farage having to weigh his votes anyway now that the Tories are gung-ho for brexit dead or alive.
        Same with the Libdems if we’re either already out or Labour is offering re-ref with remain as an option – but I can imagine Scotland being crucial.
        Voter sentiment seems likely to fluctuate wildly with every good or bad news item in the run-up to polling day.
        I anticipate more bad than good news – if so remain/recall/rejoin may even begin to trend.
        Johnson will find it next to impossible to pick a date for any snap election if brexit/economic news is bad or mixed – which seems most likely to me.

      2. replying to David:
        On the contrary David. I think Farage’s paymasters in the US are only interested in getting the no deal brexit. If necessary, the Brexit party could be disbanded before the next election. They will take any action necessary to win that election. We need to be on our toes and our big problem is a tory swanson running the Libdems. Our only chance as I can see from here is to neutralise the libdems into non-existence with a powerful campaign

      3. I don’t doubt that votes will swing back to the Tories from the Farago gang. However, there are enough dunderheads around to keep the Party alive, and Farago’s ego will probably ensure that it doesn’t need the kiss of life.

        With two parties competing for the Leave vote, it will be absolutely dumb for Labour to chase the same sector of the electorate. That would be a repeat of the ‘Hallam Car Crash’, where election decisions made centrally about the candidate ended up handing back the LibDems’ arse, after Labour had finally succeeded in taking the constituency.

        I really think that Labour ‘strategists’ who think that self-identifying with Mr Toad on the future of international and trade relationships need to ponder their unwisdom.

        David is absolutely right about Scotland. The loss of that portion of the vote tends to be accepted as just the way things are now. But it’s been a crucial gift to the Tories. Certainly, a ambiguous or ‘Leave’ position will mean ‘Forget It.’ The very least has to be a total commitment to an up-to-date vote on Brexit rather than simply saying ‘Me Too!’

        The gift to the LibDems in England will be parallel to that to the SNP in Scotland if policy doesn’t change. Even if the percentages aren’t as high, it will be significant enough to make a difference. Many ‘Leave’ voters, meanwhile will, I suspect, be quite attracted to the Boris bullshit – as they were in ’76.

        It’s no good just railing against the LibDems whilst gifting them and the Greens significant votes.

        Yes – there is going to be a tsunami of dirty tricks as the odds on a GE decrease. The art will be to avoid adding to them with a revolver aimed at the feet.

    2. If labour wont back its own successful manifesto and support the democratic vote of the public I fear we will see a Tory Farage pact which would put the libdems and greens in second place. so a coalition would not be an option for labour as they would be in 3rd place below the libdems. It would be vile to see labour pact with the libdems/Greens anyway .Congratulations to Blair Mandelson Cable and Lucas for pulling off the Brexit coup and for polarizing the debate into remain or leave essentially marginalising the poor and everything labour stands for

      1. “the democratic vote of the public”

        Oh perleeaaase! Not that line straight out of the mouths of Mr Toad and Farrago!

        … unless you want Labour votes going to the LibDems in truckloads.

      2. I would be the first to caution about over-interpreting local bye-election results with small populations and even smaller turnout.

        However, even with a cartload of reservation, the ones this week don’t give much comfort to the Labour position vis-a-vis the LibDems.

        Certainly not definitive, but very much in line with the moving average of polls.

        That is what needs to change. Rapidly.

  5. sounds like some tutorials for us all on how to spot and deal with bots etc will be helpful.

    1. Just keep telling people that change is possible, we can fix the hospitals ,we can look after our sick and disabled, we can have homes for our people , we can create jobs and wealth for the many . Look at this shit show going on it people’s eyes are not open now they will never be! But the good thing is I think they are.

      1. Snowy I think you are right and a lot of people are suffering or know what is going on in Tory Britain.. .. The evidence of austerity is all around and some of the victims standing in line with vouchers to feed their familys,or begging for existence……makes me feel angry and ashamed… The penny has dropped!

  6. He’s back ,Crosby .
    Good to check who’s agenda we are fighting on, ours or theirs . I hope labour are prepared I suspect not. Underestimating.funny old Boris. If you don’t take an opponent serious, they surprise you. Canelo Alvare Complacency etc. Crosby is described as favouring what is called a wedge strategy, whereby the party he advises introduces a divisive or controversial social issue into a campaign, aligning its own stance with the dissenting faction of its opponent party, with the goal of causing vitriolic debate inside the opposing party, defection of its supporters, and the legitimising of sentiment which had previously been considered inappropriate. This is also described as “below the radar” or dog-whistle campaigning, with the targeting of marginal constituencies with highly localised campaigning, latching on to local issues and personalities.[2] To find such divisive and potentially deflecting issues, Crosby’s business partner Mark Textor runs focus groups to find which groups to target with what questions.[36] Crosby is said to run a tight ship, focus on simple messages, target marginal constituencies and use lots of polls.[4]

  7. It seems the whole fake antisemitism in Labour stunt began life under Lynton Crosby – with a little help from pink Tories like Hodge, JLM et. al.

    1. I don’t *know* that – but it would be entirely consistent with what we know about this floater in the sewage of political life. The only contrary thing I’d say is that the Israeli’s own ‘Hasbara’ initiative has needed little assistance, and the fakery of the Lobby goes way back and is documented (see Peter Oborne’s earlier (2009?) Ch. 4 documentary)

      Any details/further evidence?

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