How much the Lib Dems spent fighting the Welsh Assembly elections

The Electoral Commission has today published figures showing how much each of the political parties spent contesting May 2007’s Welsh Assembly elections.

In total the Lib Dems spent £407,407 – £239,799 was spent by the party, with a further £167,608 incurred by candidates. This was £33,791 less than the Tories’ total (£441,198) and £10,211 less than Paid Cymru (£417,618).

(Labour figures are not yet available, as the party’s total spending exceeded £250,000, which means they have until 2nd November to file their expenses.)

In 2003, the Welsh Lib Dems spent £372,695, attracting a total of 228,353 votes (combining the constituencies and regions) – which means the party’s total spending per vote was £1.63 per vote.

In 2007, the Welsh Lib Dems’ spending of £407,407 attracted a total 258,950 votes (+13%), or £1.57 per vote.

In both elections we won six seats, of course – but at least the party achieved greater value-for-money this time…

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12 Comments

  • Plaid had terriffic spending power in this election. It came down to big donations from non-welsh domiciles and unsurprisingly led to Plaid making an overnight decision to drop their calls for Labour only to spend “Welsh Money” in May.

    Hypocrisy anyone?

  • Thanks for the number-crunching, Stephen. Are you easily able to give us the same “spend per vote” for the other parties?

    It does seem a lot, doesn’t it? Over £1 per vote.

  • Chris Keating 1st Sep '07 - 10:06am

    I’m sure the Electoral Commission make sure they read through all posts on political blogs, and that they will give your thoughts appropiate consideration.

  • I agree with Chris Paul about the laxity of the regulations governing elections, but it was his party which relaxed the rules in order to give themselves the financial space for their direct mail campaigns, telephone banks, and so on. The pre-Blair regulations served British politics well in my view. Obviously spending limits need to be reviewed on a regular basis to take into account changes in campaigning costs – and perhaps changes in campaigning techniques – but to allow virtually unlimited spending in constituencies outside election periods simply enables constituencies to be ‘bought’ by those with deep pockets. I won’t name any because that might be libellous, but I’m sure we all know of examples.

  • Thanks Chris, I do know something about libel laws and as I’d just suggested that some constituencies were ‘bought’ at the last election that is an assertion which I would not be able to prove. Sure, there are examples of over-spending at elections, although this is far less frequent than it used to be because the limits are so much higher. It is therefore my contention that it is the pre-election spending that is corrupting British politics because of the vast amounts of money that need to be raised to pump into the seats that will decide the outcome of a general election. Where overspending happens during an election campaign it is not in the interests of any of the parties to report it to or pursue it with the Electoral Commission because it is essentially a case of Mutually Assured Destruction – all parties have things to hide so there is an unspoken agreement not to pursue this sort of case. As far as I recall the Newark case was brought by rogue elements within the Labour Party.

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