ALEX Salmond’s Alba Party splashed more than £25,000 on social media adverts in the run-up to the election, only to not pick up a single Holyrood seat.

Figures obtained by The Herald through Facebook’s Ad Library show the party spent £25,218 on 28 adverts in the 90 days prior to May 6.

One internet campaigning expert has said that “Alex Salmond basically poured his supporters money down Mark Zuckerberg's toilet.”

However, Alba’s campaign manager Chris McEleny told The Herald that the party’s strength was “in the thousands of members” that joined the party to campaign for independence.

HeraldScotland:

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The targeted adverts included those urging people not to “waste” their vote, and instead “Make your #ListVoteAlba and help secure the independence #SuperMajority”.

Commenting on the findings, internet political campaign expert Dr Rhys Crilley, part of the Department of Politics and International Relations at University of Glasgow, said it is “no surprise that some parties spent incredible amounts of money on Facebook ads in order to get their message across to voters.”

He added: “…Alba, who were confident that because they were pro-independence, they could take enough of the SNP's list vote to get seats in Holyrood, but their social conservatism and uninspiring vision for independence has no appeal with voters.

“By spending £25,000 on Facebook ads and absolutely bombing in the polls, Alex Salmond basically poured his supporters money down Mark Zuckerberg's toilet.”

Responding to the figures, councillor Chris McEleny said: “Alba’s strength was in the thousands of members that joined the party to campaign for Scottish independence.

“It’s no surprise that the Tories spent nearly as much as all the pro-independence parties combined.

“Questions about where that money has come from have long been asked, whereas the independence movement thrives on the support of ordinary people across Scotland.

“Although social media is a medium that many people use, Scottish independence will be won by winning the hearts and minds of the people of Scotland by getting a campaign for independence up and running, not by topping a Facebook spend league table.


Read the full breakdown of party Facebook campaign ad spending here.