openDemocracyUK

Report: the more Lib Dems spent on a seat, the more votes they lost

A new report on openDemocracyUK reveals how the Liberal Democrats squandered thousands on no-hope Clegg loyalists whilst cutting out incumbent MPs who went on to narrowly miss-out.

Adam Ramsay
Adam Ramsay
10 September 2016
Nick_Clegg_Bournemouth_rally.jpg

Nick Clegg, by David Spender

A new report by Seth Thévoz, published by openDemocracyUK today, gives some incredible detail on one of the most dramatic stories of last year’s election.

The thorough interrogation of Liberal Democrat expenditure, by academic, researcher and party activist Dr Seth Thévoz leads to some surprising revelations, including:

- Whilst several incumbent MPs who came close to retaining their seats, including prominent rebels like Greg Mulholland, were cut off from party funding, front bench MPs and other Clegg loyalists with little chance of retaining or winning their seats, like Danny Alexander, saw vast expenditure on their seats.

- Huge amounts of money were raised by the Sheffield Lib Dems, who ensured the re-election of Clegg himself in Sheffield Hallam – sums equivalent to a “Half-dozen or more under-resourced seats which may well have been sacrificed in favour of Hallam”.

- That “on average, the more money Lib Dems raised in a seat, the more votes were lost in that seat — as voters heard the party’s 2015 message in the places that the party could afford to campaign the most, they were actively repelled from voting for the party”.

- Lib Dem internal polling amounted to little more than an exercise in comforting themselves.

Thévoz describes the Lib Dem’s 2015 campaign as a “bonfire of party donations”.

You can read the full report here.

Trade deals, Brexit and disaster capitalism

If you're tired of Brexit, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Is the UK joining Trumpland? Does this explain Boris Johnson's kamikaze EU negotiating strategy? And could beating this deal begin a challenge to the iniquities of the global economy?

Join us for a free live discussion at 5pm UK time, 24 September

In conversation:

Nick Dearden Director of Global Justice Now and author of 'Trade Secrets: The Truth about the US Trade Deal and How We Can Stop It'

Caroline Molloy Editor of openDemocracyUK and ourNHS

Who is bankrolling Britain's democracy? Which groups shape the stories we see in the press; which voices are silenced, and why? Sign up here to find out.

Comments

We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData