Jeremy Corbyn’s digital team has defended its performance at the general election, accusing the Labour Party’s operation of delivering a worse campaign than in 2017.
Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) met in London on Tuesday to conduct a post-mortem on the party’s defeat in December.
In its submission, the Leader’s Team Digital (LTD) argued the party’s online strategy “continued to lag behind” the operation run by Corbyn’s office and even “fell back” on its 2017 effort.
The group of online specialists was formed from officials in Corbyn’s office and Labour staff when Boris Johnson called the snap election in 2019.
“In GE2019 the Tories invested in improving their content strategy and organic social media performance, with evident results,” the report, leaked to HuffPost UK, said.
“LTD were also able to considerably improve on an already high benchmark from 2017.
“The party, however, continued to lag behind JC [Jeremy Corbyn], and on the most important platform, Facebook, fell back, gaining just half the video views of 2017.”
Corbyn’s social media team told the NEC that its organic social strategy delivered £85,327 in donations from 3,752 donors.
Corbyn has more than 1.5m ‘Likes’ and followers on Facebook and 2.2m followers on Twitter.
Labour’s official Facebook account has 1.1m ‘Likes’ and the party’s main Twitter account has 825,000 followers.
The LTD dossier claimed Corbyn’s team “organically reached our target voters” and “succeeded in engaging millions of people who had never previously interacted with Jeremy Corbyn’s social media”.
“In the final 28 days of the campaign, JC Facebook content appeared 325m times in front of 37.4m unique people,” it read.
“In total, 865,000 unique people shared JC content on Facebook, including 6,247 people in Stoke, 5,501 in Derby and 4,403 in Sunderland. 436,000 of these people (50.4%) had never interacted with JC’s page before at all.”
Corbyn’s digital team noted, despite the party’s defeat, the party leader “gained more likes and retweets on 12 December [election day] than UK Labour or Boris Johnson in the entire campaign”.
In a separate submission to the NEC, also handed to HuffPost UK, the party’s newly-formed team of specialist community activists argued they prevented “further destruction of the party” despite its election drubbing.