Thursday, 28 August 2003

Socialist economics

We have here some interesting statistics on expenditure by the smaller parties during the recent Scottish election:
The Electoral Commission figures also give a useful indication as to how much money is needed to secure the election of an MSP. But the statistics do show that some parties were more economical than others.

The Liberal Democrats spent £130,358 on the campaign. This brought them a return of 17 MSPs and 286,150 first-past-the-post votes, the equivalent of £7,668 per MSP and 45p per vote.

The Scottish Green Party spent £65,852 on the election campaign and won seven seats. That represents £9,407 per MSP and 51p per vote.

The Scottish Socialists were not quite as economical, spending £74,361 on the campaign and winning six seats at £12,393 per MSP and 56p per vote.

The most effective small party was the Senior Citizens Unity Party, which contested just two regions and had one of its candidates, John Swinburne, elected, all for an investment of just £3,558 - the equivalent of £3,558 per MSP and a miserly 16p per vote.

This article was drawn to my attention by S Dubh who points out:
Even in getting their candidates elected to the Scottish Parliament, the Greens and crypto-Trotskyite "Scottish Socialists" manage to come top in having spent the most per vote cast for them.

Surely a pertinent thought for those misguided or naive enough to vote for them, although I'm not optimistic on the matter.

That's quite correct. I note that SSP leader Tommy Sheridan has been sent to jail for a week because he refused to pay a fine. Tory MSP, Bill Aitken, rightly complains about the waste of public money. The fine (plus the cost of his prosecution) should have been deducted from Sheridan's parliamentary salary. Instead, we taxpayers get to pay for Sheridan's wages and for his incarceration.