Political parties repeat familiar claims in Facebook ads as election campaign draws to a close

3 July 2024

As polling day approaches political parties have been pushing out their last few adverts in a bid for your vote. And many have repeated claims we’ve previously fact checked. 

Several Conservative adverts warn about Labour winning a “supermajority”. As we’ve explained before, the term ‘supermajority’ has no specific meaning in the UK parliamentary system. The Electoral Reform Society says that a party with a majority of just one can legislate on anything it likes as long as it can keep its backbenchers in line, in the same way as a party with a much larger majority.

Another Conservative advert repeats the claim that Labour will need to raise “an extra £2,094 per household to meet their unfunded spending commitments”. This has been one of the most prominent claims of the election campaign —as our fact check details, the £2,094 figure is unreliable and based on a number of assumptions. It comes from a Conservative estimate of Labour’s “unfunded spending commitments”, but many of the costings behind the calculation are uncertain. It’s also a cumulative estimate over the next four years, rather than an annual figure, as some might assume.

Last week the Conservative party also circulated targeted adverts on Facebook suggesting that Labour is planning to introduce a “national ULEZ” next month if elected. As we explained then, this is misleading—there’s no specific evidence Labour is planning to introduce such a scheme if it wins the election, and Labour has reportedly denied it plans to do so. 

A Facebook advert from Labour, which started running on 28 June according to Meta’s ad library, says the party’s energy plans will save “£300 off your bills”. As we’ve said previously, this figure is out of date and isn’t based on an assessment of Labour’s plans. It’s from a report which estimated an average household electricity bill would be around £300 lower in 2030 than in July-October 2023 if the UK met its decarbonisation commitments. These plans are different to Labour’s and the price cap has decreased since the analysis was done.

The SNP posted an advert on 29 June which includes several claims we have written about before. These include that “right now, we’re keeping 100,000 children out of poverty through the Scottish Child Payment” and that “we’ve delivered the best-performing A&E units in the UK for nine years”.

On the child poverty claim, modelling estimates this many children will be kept out of relative poverty in 2024/25 by Scottish government policies in general. However, of this number, 60,000 are expected to be kept out of poverty specifically because of the Scottish Child Payment.

On the A&E claim none of the four UK nations have recently met the target under which 95% of patients should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours of arrival.

Looking at this measure in major 24-hour A&E units, the SNP’s claim is broadly correct for the most recent comparable data. In April 2024, 64% of such attendances in Scotland were admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours. Meanwhile, it was 60.4% in England and 59.4% in Wales.

However, if you look at the four-hour target for all types of A&E units (including minor injury units), Scotland has a worse performance than England and Wales.

We’ve contacted all of the parties mentioned in this article and will update it if we receive a response.

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