The Liberal Democrats have been accused of ‘lies’ after a Facebook advert claimed that Plaid Cymru were backing “an extreme Brexit”.
The ad, which is running in the marginal Plaid-Lib Dem battleground of Ceredigion, claims that only the Liberal Democrats are fighting to keep the UK in the single market.
“Plaid Cymru are backing an extreme Brexit along with Labour, the Tories and UKIP,” the advert says.
“If you voted Remain, vote Liberal Democrat on Thursday.”
Ceredigion voted 54.6 per cent to 45.4 per cent to remain in the EU in the referendum in June of last year.
The constituency’s Assembly Member, Plaid Cymru’s Elin Jones, said that the ad was a disappointment after a relatively clean campaign.
“It is a lie,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “Plaid Cymru has not, does not, will not support an extreme Brexit.
“Everything we have said in this election makes that clear. And yet the Lib Dems lie and say otherwise here.”
She argued that Ceredigion’s incumbent MP, the Liberal Democrat’s Mark Williams, should take the advert down.
“This advert is unworthy of you Mark Williams,” she said. “I may not expect better of LibDems, but I had expected better of you Mark.
“Please retract the advert and issue an apology immediately on your Facebook Page. There’s plenty of time today – it’s pouring with rain, you can’t be out campaigning.”
She added that the Westminster General Election had “felt so much fairer” than last year’s Welsh General Election but that the Facebook post had “gone and spoilt it”.
Nation.Cymru has contacted the Welsh Liberal Democrats and is awaiting a reply.
Concerns have grown over the last few months about so-called ‘dark ads’ that allow political parties to micro-target voters on Facebook with unregulated ads.
Who Targets Me? have developed a Facebook plug-in that allows them to collect data on targeted Facebook ads.
Founder Louis Knight-Webb warned last month that it was “difficult to work out exactly what messages and facts campaigns and political parties are using to gain support”.
Their concern is that Facebook political advertisers could be saying different things to different demographic groups in order to win their support, rather than relying on general campaign promises delivered to all through mass media.
They point to the Trump campaign in the United States, which “spent tens of millions of dollars funding digital advertising with variable language tweaked to each individual’s particular personality traits”.