Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Conservative's Rochester "postal primary" gimmick is an election expense

UKIP have written to the Conservatives asking how they will keep within spending limits for the Rochester & Strood by-election if they go ahead with their "postal primary" publicity stunt.

The Conservatives are planning to send promotional material out to every household in the constituency inviting them to choose from two Conservative candidates to be the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the by-election. They don't plan on taking the estimated £40k cost of promoting the successful candidate through this gimmick out of the £100k limit on election spending. UKIP have taken legal advice and been advised that the cost of the primary is an election expense.

Rather than answer the question the Conservatives have described it as "yet another media stunt". The Electoral Commission will no doubt be taking an interest in this one.