The Conservatives paid £200,000 in campaigning costs for each of the 80 majority seats won by the party in last December general election, newly released data reveals.
In total, the Tories spend £16,486,871 to claim their biggest majority since Margaret Thatcher’s 1987 victory, according to the Electoral Commission. That total included £1,689,000 to CTF Partners, the lobbying firm run by “Australian dark arts specialist” Lynton Crosby’, says Politico London Playbook’s Alex Wickham.
The multimillion investment was less than the amount shelled out on Theresa May’s 2017 general election campaign, however, which cost the party £18.5m.
And the Conservatives spent just £1m on Facebook advertising for last year’s vote – less than half what they handed over to the platform in the previous election.
Boris Johnson’s team also spent £458,688 on Twitter graphics and videos from New Zealand-based PR firm Topham Guerin, which controversially rebranded the Conservative’s Twitter account as FactCheckUK during the leader’s debate last November.
And £700,000 was handed over to strategic advisory firm Hanbury Strategy, co-founded by ex-Vote Leave communications director Paul Stephenson.
No details of Labour’s spending has been published yet, although Politico’s Wickham “imagines the full figures will be released by the Electoral Commission imminently”.
In 2017, the Tories were fined a record £70,000 for making false declarations about their election expenses during the 2015 general election, which saw David Cameron defeating Ed Miliband’s Labour.
The Tories recorded thousands of pounds spent on a battle bus as national spending when it was actually used to re-elect specific MPs, as The Guardian reported at the time.