Local campaign spending at the 2010 general election and its impact

Exploring what wider regulation has revealed

Ron Johnston*, Charles Pattie, David Cutts, Edward Fieldhouse, Justin Fisher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


The regulation of party political funding and expenditure in the United Kingdom is an issue of continuing political and public debate. Campaign expenditure by candidates has been regulated since the late nineteenth century, but this has applied only during the short campaign period between the dissolution of Parliament and polling day. Concerns have been raised about earlier expenditure levels, but these were not regulated until legislation in 2009 which limits the amount that candidates can spend in the months prior to Parliament's dissolution-in 2010 this covered the period between 1 January and 15 April: the election was held on 6 May. The Electoral Commission has released information on all candidates who made a return of their expenditure during both periods. This article provides descriptive data on those amounts, by party and type of constituency, plus analyses which show that the more that a party spent the better its performance at the polls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-192
Number of pages24
JournalPolitical Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Campaign expenditure
  • Party funding
  • United kingdom general election 2010

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