Political campaigns spent almost £40m on general election

Published: Wednesday 20th January 2016 by The News Editor

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Political campaigns spent a total of almost £40 million on the 2015 general election, figures have revealed.

Biggest spenders were the Conservatives, with £15,587,956, ahead of Labour’s £12,087,340, the Liberal Democrats’ £3,529,106 and Ukip’s £2,851,465, said the Electoral Commission.

The total of £39,023,564 outstripped the £34,463,890 spent on the 2010 campaign by almost £5 million. But 2015 was still cheaper than the record-breaking 2005 campaign when £42 million was lavished on wooing voters.

In all, 57 parties and 23 non-party campaigns spent money on the 2015 election, but only six spent more than £250,000, according to the Electoral Commission figures.

The Scottish National Party reported spending of £1,475,478 and the Greens £1,131,018.

The figures mean the Conservative campaign cost £1.38 for each of the 11.3 million votes they won, while Labour spent £1.29 for each vote, Liberal Democrats £1.46, the SNP £1.01, Greens 98p and Ukip just 73p.

Conservative spending was down on the £16.7 million reported in 2010 and the cost of the Liberal Democrat campaign was cut from almost £4.8 million at the previous poll. But Labour increased spending sharply on the £8 million spent by Gordon Brown in his unsuccessful battle to hold on to power in 2010.

Any political party that stands more than one candidate at the election is required to submit a campaign expenditure return to the Commission. Reported spending for parties does not cover some costs such as staffing, and candidate spending is reported separately.

Published: Wednesday 20th January 2016 by The News Editor

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