UKIP splashed out to cash in on EU votes

Nigel Farage during a Facebook chat

Electoral Commission figures show that the UK Independence Party was amongst the biggest spenders in this year’s EU elections

Like it or not it is un-disputable that UKIP made waves, and continue to do so, in the UK’s political scene. They won the largest numbers of votes in the European Elections securing 24 MEPs and winning 4.3 million votes. They gained over 200,000 more votes than their nearest rivals Labour and 584,000 more than the Conservatives. They have enjoyed a huge rise in popularity in recent times and remain a fierce contender for the 2015 general election.

Information published today by the Electoral Commission may shed some light on this rise to popularity, especially surrounding the 2014 EU elections. The report published the details of campaign expenditure for the six main political parties in the lead up to the 2014 European Parliament election. UKIP were ranked the second highest spending party racking up a total spend of £2,956,737 for the 2014 campaign. They were only just behind the biggest spending Conservative Party who parted with £2,980,815 in the lead up to the election. The data collected runs from the 23rd January up to polling day. Whilst UKIP were still not the highest the level of expenditure is staggering when compared to what they spent running up to the similar elections just five years earlier. In 2009 where they won just over half as many votes they spent just under a mere £1.2 million. Thus perhaps this huge boost in spending contributed somewhat to their rise to the top.

However, another interesting point that the data highlights is the huge decline in Labour spending between 2009 and 2014. They halved their campaign spend, spending in the 2014 campaign only a third of that of the Conservatives. Despite this they still managed to seriously rival UKIP for the top spot gaining 9.67% more of the vote than they had done 5 years previously. Thus perhaps not all boost in expenditure correlates to popularity when it comes to election results. This is certainly true of the Scottish National Party who upped their expenditure nearly threefold during the 2014 campaign to see less than 1% difference in their share of the vote.

For full details of the electoral commissions findings see here

Like it or not it is un-disputable that UKIP made waves, and continue to do so, in the UK’s political scene. They won the largest numbers of votes in the European Elections securing 24 MEPs and winning 4.3 million votes. They gained over 200,000 more votes than their nearest rivals Labour and 584,000 more than the Conservatives. They have enjoyed a huge rise in popularity in recent times and remain a fierce contender for the 2015 general election.

Information published today by the Electoral Commission may shed some light on this rise to popularity, especially surrounding the 2014 EU elections. The report published the details of campaign expenditure for the six main political parties in the lead up to the 2014 European Parliament election. UKIP were ranked the second highest spending party racking up a total spend of £2,956,737 for the 2014 campaign. They were only just behind the biggest spending Conservative Party who parted with £2,980,815 in the lead up to the election. The data collected runs from the 23rd January up to polling day. Whilst UKIP were still not the highest the level of expenditure is staggering when compared to what they spent running up to the similar elections just five years earlier. In 2009 where they won just over half as many votes they spent just under a mere £1.2 million. Thus perhaps this huge boost in spending contributed somewhat to their rise to the top.

However, another interesting point that the data highlights is the huge decline in Labour spending between 2009 and 2014. They halved their campaign spend, spending in the 2014 campaign only a third of that of the Conservatives. Despite this they still managed to seriously rival UKIP for the top spot gaining 9.67% more of the vote than they had done 5 years previously. Thus perhaps not all boost in expenditure correlates to popularity when it comes to election results. This is certainly true of the Scottish National Party who upped their expenditure nearly threefold during the 2014 campaign to see less than 1% difference in their share of the vote.