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Political Marketing Funding and Expenditure in the UK General Election Campaign of 2005.

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Abstract:

The 2005 UK General Election will be the second for which detailed data will be available from the Electoral Commission. Whilst this will not be published until 2006, it is possible using 2001 data and participant accounts to identify the overall funding patterns of the three major party campaigns and changes in the way that was spent. In broad terms, funding and expenditure changed little in money terms from 2001 to 2005, largely due to the impact of financial constraints and regulation on the parties. However, in 2005 for the first time, both the Labour and Conservative parties made significant use of direct marketing methods, notably telephone and direct mail to communicate with target voters in closely contested constituencies. The financial constraints on the parties and the strict restrictions on donations have put the question of significant state funding for political parties back on the agenda. The paper summarises the UK regulatory framework on electoral expenditure and political donations and considers the arguments for and against expanding state funding.

Keywords: CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURE; DIRECT MARKETING; DONATIONS; GENERAL ELECTION; PARTY FUNDING; POLITICAL MARKETING

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1362/026725705775194193

Publication date: 2005-11-01

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