BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: Michael Crick
« Previous | Main | Next »

Low by-election spend costs Lib Dems votes

Michael Crick | 15:45 UK time, Wednesday, 9 March 2011

I have just been told that the original budget for the Liberal Democrat campaign in the Barnsley Central by-election was just £5,000.

And there's no evidence it went much above that sum. It compares with a legal by-election limit of £100,000, and the £93,000 which the Lib Dems spent in Oldham East and Saddleworth. No wonder the Lib Dems came sixth.

I'll get the exact spending figures for Barnsley Central when they're received and published by the returning officer in a few weeks time.


  • Comment number 1.

    Goes to show Lib Dems are careful where they spend their money!

  • Comment number 2.

    "No wonder the Lib Dems came sixth."

    No, no point in wasting money when one is going to come in sixth.

  • Comment number 3.

    Presumably the £5000 was a 'donation' to Nick Clegg to stop him from showing face so that the LibDems could still claim a spot in the top ten.

  • Comment number 4.

    talk about throwing good money after bad...all's well that ends well....don't cast a clout till May is out....well, I'll go t' foot of our that Cleggie still abaht?

  • Comment number 5.

    The people of Barnsley would, I believe, be far more interested in the threat to jobs, the attack on the NHS, police and other public services rather than the funding of the Lib/Dem Tory stooges campaign. Anyway ,it was far too much.
    They paid the price for their treachery by betraying students, ordinary Lib/Dem voters,a large part of their membership all in aid of propping up the Bullingdon Kids. What a shambles

  • Comment number 6.

    #5 - ha ha, I love it when people make reference to the Bullingdon Boys, as if it has any relevance whatsoever. An MP's background is of no relevance or importance to their ability to do a good job and when people refer to the upper class, snobish types that they say are in the Tories, they do themselves no favours - it is just reverse snobbery.

    The important point is who they represent and how they represent them.

    This personality politics is so incredibly boring and irrelevant.

    On the point of the blog. It was fairly obvious the Lib Dems would not win Barnsley Central, so why waste money trying. If the Coalition government has got things right and we pull through this very difficult deficit time, and people can see that the difficult decisions taken were in the public good, then would be a good time to spend money trying to fight for the seat, and hopefully then the good people of Barnsley Central will have realised what a disgrace the last Labour government were and vote accordingly.

  • Comment number 7.


    I agree with you apart from the rhetoric "disgrace" point in your final sentence. Its the fact that people in Barnsley believe the opposite, or at the very least do not hold such strong views, that they voted so resoundingly for Labour. Its the same view held in many other areas of the country that shows up in the current opinion polls and will result in a reasonable Labour recovery in May elections (apart from maybe Scotland where their high base looks like sliding a bit in the face of SNP).

    Personality politics is rubbish - the Tories tried to use it in 1997 with that awful new danger/Blair poster, Labour then used it a little in 2005 to portray Howard as nasty, but most devastatingly the Tories and LibDems deconstructed Brown in the year or 2 up to the general election last year. Labour supporters Bullingdon chants were total small beer given media fixation on destroying Brown. Much of this had little or nothing to do with economic competence or otherwise, simply a decision that this was a good tactic to win votes. Its interesting that we have heard much talk in the last few years of moving away from ya boo, but it just ends up being too tempting for media and politicians to head back to the playground.

    Taking your saving money point forward, I reckon the LibDems can save a heck of a lot this May. They will get little value for any money they spend campaigning and thats before any personality stuff kicks in with Mr Clegg.

  • Comment number 8.

    Ginger F

    The 'disgrace' comment is an honestly held view and portrays my belief that the last labour government wasted billions and billions of tax payer money. They constantly referred to how much they had spent, but I don't think they spent it wisely. I think Blair lied about the Iraq war and cosied up to one of the biggest idiots ever to be US President. All in all I think their period in power was a disgrace.

    I agree that the Tories and Lib Dems laid into Brown, but to be fair Brown pretty much deconstructed himself, with a sucession of media nightmares. He was doomed from the beginning due to being up to his neck in the stench of Blair, so I don't think the public needed much comment from others anyway.

    On a totally separate point, how do the huge riches Blair is now amassing fit in with his deeply religious and socialist views? or is he just completely two faced?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.