Despite losing three seats in the Assembly election last May, the Conservatives easily spent more than any other party on their campaign, reporting a figure of £396,406 to the Electoral Commission. The next highest total was recorded by Labour, at £255,806.
Put another way, getting 11 AMs elected cost the Conservatives £36,037 per seat making Labour's 29 AMs at £8,821 for each seat won look an absolute bargain. Because the two parties each spent more than £250,000, they were given longer to prepare their figures, which were finally released today.
Totals for the other parties were published in September, so we now have the complete picture:
- Conservatives £396,406 (11 seats for £36,037 each)
- Labour £255,806 (29 seats for £8,821 each)
- Plaid Cymru £209,733 (12 seats for £17,478 each)
- Lib Dems £196,143 (1 seat for £196,143)
- UKIP £70,749 (7 seats for £10,107 each)
Of the parties that didn't win any seats, only two spent more than £10,000 -the Greens' campaign cost £59,903 and the Women's Equality Party got through £37,575. The Greens were the only party to fight constituencies as well as the regional list and still end up with no seats. They got 30,211 regional list votes, fewer than the Abolish the Assembly Party's 44,286 votes.
The Abolish the Assembly Party informed the Electoral Commission that it had spent nothing on its campaign. Overall the total spend by all parties was £1,239,128. More than half the money -£655,624- went on unsolicited leaflets dropped through voters' letterboxes.