'Non-dom' donor Lords
On the morning after the night before I find myself pondering why the Tories biggest donor is facing so much grief (you can see my interview with David Cameron about Lord Ashcroft here) when Labour's biggest donor, Lord Sainsbury, is treated completely differently.
Lord Sainsbury - the billionaire former chairman of the supermarket - was interviewed today as a distinguished and eminent former public servant when he and the Tory Lord Waldegrave produced a report about the need to invest in science.
David Sainsbury was made science minister by Tony Blair - a post he held for more than eight years. He has donated at least £12.5m to Labour since 2002 and, some claim, more than £16m in total.
Sainsbury is one of the country's biggest philanthropists who's said to have donated more than £1bn to charity. Friends of Ashcroft point to his charitable works creating Crimestoppers and collecting Victoria Crosses for a national collection.
So, Ashcroft is treated differently not because of the scale of his giving; nor because he's a political player; nor because he doesn't give to other good causes.
It's partly because he, unlike Sainsbury, is a "non-dom", though of course, he is not the only party donor to be a "non-dom" - they exist in all parties - or the only "non-dom" in the Lords - Labour's Lord Paul is also a "non-dom".
It's partly because he hid his tax status for almost a decade after being forced to give undertakings to secure a peerage which his critics claim he never met.
But the added factor which has made Ashcroft's position so explosive is the fact that he's made so many enemies - not just in the parties he's trying to defeat but on his own side where many resent him throwing his weight about and in the media too - thanks to his keenness to turn to lawyers to sort out his disputes.
Michael Ashcroft is passionately partisan, he's secretive (or, as he would prefer, private) and to quote someone who's worked with him "relishes in being bloody awkward. It's his only pleasure in life".
In public life you always pay in the end for making enemies.
Something which that other member of the "awkward squad" - Charlie Whelan of the Unite union - who's organising Labour's efforts in the marginals may wish to ponder on.
PS I see that Lord Paul now says he'll become a full UK taxpayer. That's sure to increase pressure on Labour to spell out which of their other donors are "non-doms".