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What Labor and Liberals spend on Facebook tells us where the election campaign is going

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We are concluding the final turn, but the election marathon is now becoming a sprint to the end, with political parties of all walks of life increasing the pace of the campaign and spending on advertising.

Analysis of social media spending data and movements of major party leaders suggests that no party running for government wants to leave anything on the table in their attempt to form a government in less than a week.

And the data suggests that if you’re already bored with the campaign, you may want to turn off social media for next week because the ads are just growing.

Data from the Facebook ad library report shows that in the week ending Tuesday, more than $ 3 million was spent by advertisers in Australia on election, political and social issues.

That’s from about $ 2 million a week ago.

The figures include nonprofits and other activists displaying ads on issues not explicitly linked to the federal election.

Costs are rising everywhere, but when you calculate the population of each state and territory, we see that Tasmanians are getting a lot more attention than any other Australian.

This reflects the fact that a significant portion of the island state’s population lives in a significant marginal location and the narrowing of attention to key locations as targets for advertising.

Expenditures may exceed first levels during Tasmania’s state election campaign last year, before the campaign ended.

One party is spending more

While everyone is raising money, one party has escalated faster than the other.

ABC has categorized any Facebook advertiser who has spent more than $ 100 in a single day on the platform at any point this year, according to whether they are of a political nature and to which party or group they belong.

Doing so gives a more comprehensive look at cross-party spending patterns than looking at any individual candidate or party account.

The analysis shows that while the major parties had been in a relative stalemate until the middle of the campaign, Labor has since rapidly increased their spending on the platform.

Most of Labor’s spending has been on the national party account, which has also been phoning its negative messages since the first day of the campaign.

ABC looked at the messages in all the ads with at least $ 200 spent on them on the main party main account and classified them as mostly positive, or mostly negative.

The exact dollar figures for each ad are not disclosed by Facebook, but the ads represent, by very conservatively calculating, at least $ 1.3 million in expenses.

The analysis does not consider any ads on any candidate or state party site.

Labor’s account started the campaign purely positive, but it shifted quickly.

He changed the number completely negative in late April with a barrage of attack ads for Scott Morrison, but has since moderated to the point where roughly half of his ads are negative.

Meanwhile, every single advertisement for which the Liberal Party has spent more than $ 200 since April 26 has been negative, attacking either Labor, Anthony Albanese, Labor or independent candidates.

These are at least big ads, but both major parties are also showing a lot of lower cost ads, and the messages in them vary.

Liberals offer different plans for different voters

Liberals released a series of targeted ads to individual constituencies this week.

Advertisements promoting “Our Plan” have been displayed in at least 23 major venues, featuring party candidates and MPs.

But the plan varies from country to country.

As everyone is told that the Liberals will offer “More jobs”, “Lower taxes”, “Better health” and “Better roads”, the fifth plan of the plan changes.

In 16 countries, including Corangamite, Pearce and Braddon, “Stronger Defense” is promised.

But in other countries, including those like Kooyong and Goldstein challenged by independents, voters are being told the plan is for a “cleaner environment.”

Three posts on FB, two are identical and the third is different
Facebook posts about Lyons and Casey candidates show “Stronger Defense”, but Goldstein’s candidate has “Cleaner Environment”.(supply)

Other countries where liberals clearly think the environment is a key issue are Flinders, Curtin, Sturt, Chisholm and Boothby.

The party is adapting its message to other parts of the country, such as Canberra, where the Liberal Party’s local branch is following the consultants’ vote.

A post on FB that reads
In Canberra, the Liberals site targets public service contractors.

“Do you work as a contractor or consultant at APS?” The ad asks.

“Under the Labor-Green alliance, your job is in serious jeopardy.”

It is probably the only part of the country where they constitute a very important voting bloc to guarantee direct targeting.

Work revives the fear of debit without money

This week, Labor has once again displayed ads for senior Australians, fueling fears about a cashless debit card.

An ad purchased by Queensland Labor features a retiree from Bribie Islandwhich says “I will not risk my retirement for Scott Morrison”.

A post on FB with a video where the caption is read
A Queensland job ad on Facebook featuring an angry retiree.(supply)

Bribie Island is located at Longman’s marginal headquarters, currently held by the LNP by a margin of 3.3 per cent.

Victorian Labor is also showing ads on the subject, promising to “remove the debit card without money”.

While verifying the effectiveness of each individual ad is an impossible task, Google Trends data reveals a modest increase in search traffic for the term “free debit” in these two states in the past week.

The same increase has not occurred in other countries for which data are available.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-05-15/election-2022-facebook-ads-labor-liberal/101067750

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