Liberal Democrats get the best electoral bang for campaign buck

Figures released by the Electoral Commission this week reveal that while the Conservative Party outspent all the other parties put together in General Election 2010, it was the Liberal Democrats who got the best value for money.

The Liberal Democrats spent 70p for each vote gained; the Labour Party, 93p and the Conservatives, £1.54.

From the Independent:

The biggest change from the previous election was the dramatic depletion of the Labour campaign’s war chest. It spent just over £8m on the three month campaign, less than half the £16.7m spent by the Tories. The figure for the Liberal Democrats was £4.8m, the most they have ever spent.

The Conservatives were so rich that one day they spent £5,532 projecting a picture of David Cameron onto London’s Battersea Power Station.

They also invested thousands of pounds in ideas that were dropped before the public had even heard about them. M&S Saatchi billed them £3,466 for a poster to warn the public about the pitfalls of a hung Parliament.

A large chunk of the Liberal Democrats’ expenditure (£253,000) went on private flights for Nick Clegg, Vince Cable and other senior party members while it cost £10,000 to maintain Nick Clegg’s website.

You can read the full report in the Independent, here.

Speaking of outstanding value for money, Lib Dem Voice is brought to you on the most elegant of shoestrings, being run entirely by volunteers. However, we do incur costs for hosting and for the exciting range of Conference fringe events we put on.

If you’d like contribute to keeping this site running find out more here.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

12 Comments

  • You possibly won’t have this figure to hand, Helen, but I think Lib Dems have suffered a decrease in “bang for buck” ratio since 2005. It is probably our poorest score in modern times, I would imagine (certainly since the Lib Dems’ formation). Our topping of that table is not news of course – it always happens, by virtue of our much lower warchests than either Tory or Labour.

  • bugger (the Panda) 3rd Dec '10 - 11:13am

    In Scotland the Tories spent £1.3 millions and harvested one MP.

    There are more breeding ospreys in Scoland than tories.

    ps The LibDems are going to go the same way In May 2011

  • Liberal Neil 3rd Dec '10 - 11:27am

    It is certainly true that we got the best value in terms of the cost of each vote.

    Unfortunately the opposite is true when it comes to spend per seat.

    Labour did quite well to halve their spend but still do that well in seats.

    Does the Labour figure include the money spent by Trades Unions?

  • The last time I can remember the party throwing money away on hoardings was in 1992, when we had the dreadful Des Wilson running the campaign (not one of Paddy Ashdown’s better judgment calls). Given our limited resources, we have to stick to the stuff that works best for us, ie, the paper shoved through letterboxes.

    The recent Electoral Commission report that shows us raising less money than UKIP since May is intensely depressing, but an inevitable consequence of propping up a right-wing Tory government. Once we leave the “coalition” and get rid of Clegg, people will start giving us their cash once again – how much depends on our leaders and how they handle the post-coalition landscape.

  • Paul McKeown 3rd Dec '10 - 9:58pm

    @Sesenco

    If “propping up a right-wing Tory government” means that UKIP raises more money, then by your inimitable logic the Lib Dems should become more right wing not left (unless you think that UKIP is to the left of the Lib Dems…). Don’t bother answering, your point is clear enough, but it rather misses several points. The first is that a lot of “right wing Tories” are simply screaming mad that the current government is not particularly right wing at all, hence they are piling cash into UKIP in the hope of acheiving lunatic policies such as leaving the EU and the CoE, abandoning carbon reduction targets, removing tariffs from petroleum spirit, removing speed cameras, removing the smoking ban from licensed premises, deregulating the financial industries, removing the minimum wage, reintroducing the death penalty for all I know, etc., et bloody cetera. You think that the Lib Dems are the only party being cursed for compromise? Loads of Tory activists are spitting feathers. Meanwhile the electors have other ideas.

    In the long term the Lib Dems ought to do well from this period in government. The policies they have insisted on in this government are going to improve the lot of working people on small salaries (£10K income tax threshold and other beneficial tax changes, pupil premium, etc.) The main threat that I see is that Ken Clarke’s reforms could fail due to insufficient funding to properly implement a rehabilitative approach to criminal justice. Meantime the Lib Dems are going to have to start communicating better about the impressive list of progressive reforms they have gained from this coalition.

    Basically the Lib Dems have always appealed to a relentlessly middle class electoral base. It’s about time they gained recognition of the fact that their policies help the working class. I note that the Sun (amongst others) has now started treating the Lib Dems a little more kindly, e.g. the kind hearted humour with which Danny Alexander was treated here: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/mattmeets/3255947/I-might-look-like-Beaker-but-Im-not-a-Muppet.html

    A more favourable treatment from the tabloids would be a breakthrough game changer for the Lib Dems.

    That and some LD supporters are going to have to stop moaning about evil Toriez and get a sense of perspective.

    Actually for the first time in a while I’ve felt a little more positive for future of the LDs.

    I thought that Vince Cable’s statement that he would approach the vote on tuition fees in a collegiate manner with his colleagues was a very positive development – the party (despite all the chunter in the press and various blogs) is determined to keep a united front. Ostensibly Cable’s tuition fee proposals are much more progressive than those implemented by Labour heretofore and much fairer than those might have expected from a majority Conservative government, and abstaining from voting for his own proposals will probably make him look a right mug, but his decision that party unity trumps all is farsighted. Better would be that the party votes for the proposals – the student vote is lost anyway – but if that can’t be, then abstain together.

    Hang together or hang apart.

    I also thought that Bob Russell did well in the opposition day debate about school sports funding in telling Andy Burnham to cut the cat calls and then effectively telling Michael Gove to shut and listen to Burnham was effective it seems to me. Sanity seems to be about to prevail in that one – and good speeches by Don Foster and Annette Brook will have helped, together with Bob Russell banging heads together.

    Don’t want to go on too long, but lots of signs of the tide turning. Nice video clip on this site from Tim Farron about the value that the Lib Dems are delivering in government, Nick Clegg handing out a slapping to mindless Labour in parliament recently, Vince Cable delivering a strong – and very effective – defence of his tuition fees policy in the Commons debate a few days ago, a bit less less psssive victim in the face of onslaughts from left and right and a bit more dishing what is being dealt. Bravo!

  • Paul McKeown,

    I hardly know where to start!

    “The first is that a lot of “right wing Tories” are simply screaming mad that the current government is not particularly right wing at all,”

    Not in my presence they’re not. They are rather happy that the Pied Piper in the form of David Cameron is leading our party into the abyss.

    “The first is that a lot of “right wing Tories” are simply screaming mad that the current government is not particularly right wing at all,”

    Do you have any evidence for this? Am I right in thinking that in the Tory Party giving money to another party is a chucking out offence?

    “Basically the Lib Dems have always appealed to a relentlessly middle class electoral base.”

    You clearly know little or nothing about the history of our party.

    “In the long term the Lib Dems ought to do well from this period in government.”

    To paraphrase the “Sun”, will the last Cleggmaniac to say that put the light out?

    “the party (despite all the chunter in the press and various blogs) is determined to keep a united front”

    Like the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, perhaps? Facetiousness aside, just look at the facts. 14 MPs (by my count) have taken the brave and honourable decision to anounce that they will vote against. That is hardly being united when Messrs Clegg, Cable, Alexander and Hughes cannot agree even among themselves what to try to bully their colleagues into doing. At least not in the world I inhabit.

    “Ostensibly Cable’s tuition fee proposals are much more progressive than those implemented by Labour heretofore”

    Only ostensibly?

    “much fairer than those might have expected from a majority Conservative government,”

    But we don’t have a majority Conservative government. If we had a minority Conservative government, instead of this “coalition” mess, we would be able to stop them raising tuition fees altogether. Just think on that one.

    “the student vote is lost anyway”

    Really? In which cave, up which mountainside, does your oracle live?

  • Paul McKeown 4th Dec '10 - 2:49pm

    “The first is that a lot of “right wing Tories” are simply screaming mad that the current government is not particularly right wing at all,”
    Not in my presence they’re not. They are rather happy that the Pied Piper in the form of David Cameron is leading our party into the abyss.”

    I would suggest to get a perspective you should read some of the Tory blogs or some of the comments on the right wing newspapers. There are many Tories happy with the current government, that is true, but equally there are many who genuinely are outraged. Some of it is mindless partisan nonsense, the diametric opposite of the rage addressed by Labour and some left leaning LDs to the coalition, but much of it is genuine anger that many right wing manifesto commitments by the Conservatives have been abandoned. If you claim that Tories are universally happy with the direction of the coalition, then, to be blunt, you simply couldn’t be more wrong.

    ““The first is that a lot of “right wing Tories” are simply screaming mad that the current government is not particularly right wing at all,”

    Do you have any evidence for this?”

    Yes. As above. I try to keep an open mind and read left and right wing political sources.

    “Am I right in thinking that in the Tory Party giving money to another party is a chucking out offence?”

    I imagine it might be, you would have to study the constitution of the party to be sure. Of course, no one would know unless the amounts were larger than £7.5k pa.

    ““Basically the Lib Dems have always appealed to a relentlessly middle class electoral base.”

    You clearly know little or nothing about the history of our party.”

    That you dispute this, illustrates that you are incapable of understanding how the LDs are perceived outside of LD circles. The view if typically something like “soft middle class types detached from reality”. How you perceive the party is irrelevant in terms of its electoral success.

    ““Ostensibly Cable’s tuition fee proposals are much more progressive than those implemented by Labour heretofore”

    Only ostensibly?”

    I cannot claim to have read the Bill in detail. Can you? I trust Vince Cable, though, and the headline points he has laid lead me to the belief that it is much more progressive than those implemented by Labour heretofore. Vince Cable may be wrong, though, and my trust in him misplaced. Hence “ostensibly”.

    “But we don’t have a majority Conservative government.”

    That is the point. The Conservatives are getting things completely their own way. Including on tuition fees.

    “If we had a minority Conservative government, instead of this “coalition” mess, we would be able to stop them raising tuition fees altogether. Just think on that one.”

    A minority government would have been followed as night follows day by a majority government. About now, probably. The LDs would have been annihilated as an electoral irrelevance in an autumn general election. No LD policies would have been implemented at all, nor would they for decades to come.

    “Really? In which cave, up which mountainside, does your oracle live?”

    You sarcasm underwhelms me. To be honest, I don’t think you are realistic, but would prefer to see politics through a distorting lens, rather than face hard realities. Life is not fair and the LDs have been dealt a difficult hand. They have to play it hard and smart, for their party’s survival depends on it.

  • Paul McKeown 4th Dec '10 - 2:54pm

    Typo.

    ““But we don’t have a majority Conservative government.”

    That is the point. The Conservatives are getting things completely their own way. Including on tuition fees.”

    Should have read:

    “But we don’t have a majority Conservative government.”

    That is the point. The Conservatives are not getting things completely their own way. Including on tuition fees.”

  • Paul McKeown 4th Dec '10 - 2:59pm

    I just would like to say that I think the LD MPs and Ministers are doing a decent job. They seem to have woken up and realised that they are going to have rise above the enormous number of insults, many of them unfair, that they are being dealt. I thought Danny Alexander did a good job, for instance, calmly putting his points across on QT on Thursday night.

    Anyway, Mr. Sesenco, enough from me, got stuff to do. I’ll leave you to rage away in my absence!

  • Grace Goodlad 4th Dec '10 - 4:15pm

    Tuim 13 is right, we did far worse here than in prebious years. Especially if you look at cash spent against seats won – we spent more than ever yet won less seats.

    That has to be seen as under-performing, especially when our increased polling (mainy thanks to the public debates – not the actiopn of Campaigns etc.) should have madfe the going slightly easier and target seats and challenging defences.

    I don’t think there is much to crow about at all.

  • Grace Goodlad 4th Dec '10 - 4:17pm

    Sesenco – actually we used billboards in 2005, but carefully…..

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Evans 22nd Feb - 8:55am
    Good Morning leaflets are a two edged sword. Great for getting the last message and reminder out to so many, but at the wrong time...
  • User AvatarIan Sanderson (RM3) 22nd Feb - 7:54am
    @Chistopher Curtis ' the UK (there is no real evangelical right in the UK, for example) and in other places with their own histories and...
  • User AvatarPaul Walter 22nd Feb - 1:41am
    Yes, well done Tom for getting early to deliver Good Mornings. I was once reported to the police for walking around at 5am. A couple...
  • User AvatarMalc Poll 21st Feb - 11:25pm
    The above should read 115 % *TYPO*
  • User AvatarPaul 21st Feb - 11:19pm
    For the uninformed what is the difference between the federal treasurer and the nominated treasurer?
  • User Avatarmalc 21st Feb - 11:16pm
    Paul Reynolds "BTW it is not true that France and Belgium have a lower standard of living than the UK" I've tried researching this a...