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Monday, October 22, 2007

You spend your money, you take your chance

This morning's Guardian reports that Gordon Brown's decision this month not to call a general election has left the Labour party with a bill approaching £1m. They say that by Saturday October 6, when the prime minister decided not to go ahead with the election, party officials had sanctioned hundreds of thousands of pounds of expenditure on booking hoarding sites, literature and recruitment of staff, and were at an advanced stage in setting up a media centre to handle daily press conferences.

Of course this is not public money, it is Labour's money, and they have responsibility for paying all the bills. It is possible too that Labour also benefited from increased donations in the same period. The significance for other parties lies in the fact that there is a national spending limit for General Elections and Labour has now spent about 5% of it, before an election is called.

Meanwhile, Swansea West Labour Party are continuing to deliver their flying start leaflet featuring their new candidate, the previous MP for Croydon Central, Gordon Brown and the sitting MP. Alan Williams. Glad to see that all that printed material is not going to waste. Mind you it might have been quicker if they had posted it.
Interesting to see that the Tories are reckoned to have spent a comparatively modest 200K in the same period. They don't seem to have found a Lib Dem figure, or else expenditure in luncheon vouchers, old egg boxes, squirty bottles and bits of string just doesn't count ;-)
All it cost the Lib Dems was a leader.
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