Facebook hires political strategists to help parties reach voters

Facebook has hired former Conservative and Labour political strategists as the parties aim to increase online adspend in the run-up to next month's general election.

The social media giant has confirmed to The Guardian that it has employed specialists in helping politicians make good use of Facebook.

The newspaper said the UK’s major political parties are set to spend over £1m on Facebook advertising ahead of the election on 8 June. 

Facebook is seen as a key tool because of the ability to target small subsets of voters, given the amount of data that is collected by the platform about its users. There are an estimated 31 million UK Facebook users.

Among those to have joined Facebook are Rishi Saha, a former head of digital communications for the government, and Karim Palant, a former advisor to Ed Balls, Labour shadow chancellor during Ed Miliband’s leadership. 

The Conservatives spent £1.2m on Facebook advertising in the run-up to the 2015 general election, according to Election Commission figures, while Labour spent just over £16,000.

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