Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Cost Benefit Analyisis of General Election

There is an interesting table accompanying the Scotsman's report on the state of the various party finances. Basically it is a cost benefit analysis of the spending on the General Election last year for the return of votes and MPs. Being Sottish it obviously also includes the SNP but the results are still interesting.


Number of Votes 9,566,618
Amount Spent £15.1 million
Seats 356
Amount spent per vote £1.58
Ammount per MP £42,416


Number of Votes 8,785,941
Amount Spent £15.7 million
Seats 198
Amount spent per vote £1.79
Ammount per MP £79,293

Lib Dems

Number of Votes 5,985,414
Amount Spent £4.9 million
Seats 62
Amount spent per vote 82p
Ammount per MP £96,538


Scotland only

Number of Votes 412,267
Amount Spent £262,972
Seats 6
Amount spent per vote 64p
Ammount per MP £43,829

What is very telling is that of the three UK wide parties we are most cost effective per vote. Almost half the cost of each Labour vote and even better against the Conservatives. Obviously our spend per MP does not reflect this and highlights the fact that not everyone's vote has the same value. While we spent only half of what Labour spend to garner each of our vote we have to invest more than double to get an MP.

As the only party that ended the year in the black, and therefore worked within the party's means, and working against a system that is inherantly unfair and reproduces a sizable majority of seats with a considerable minority of the votes cast something clearly needs to be done.

If the Tories and Labour continue to exist beyond their means what is the end result going to be. Matthew Parris wrote an interesting piece at the weekend suggesting we might end up back with a House full of independent MPs if the party structures were to implode under the pressure of debts and unredeemed loans.

Clearly in both Labour and Conservative head offices questions should be asked about is the ammount of debt £27.3 million for Labour and £26.4 million for the Conservatives sustainable for an organisation of their size. Compared to £9 million and £5 million respectively in the last general election year 2001 will either party be able to afford the next campaign as these debts will surely increase unless addressed promptly.

Maybe this could be one reason why a snap election might not be called immediately after the current Prime Minister steps aside. It is possible that neither of the two largest parties would be in a position to contest it due to their largesse in 2005 as soon as the heavily muted date of autumn 2007.


Anonymous said...

Stephen - good call. The question you might also want to ask is where did the SNPs £400,000 loans come from?! maybe Mr MacNeill could tell us! always check the small print

Stephen Glenn said...


Runs off for a magnifying glass.


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