North Northants election candidates spent 85p per vote

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Candidates in north Northamptonshire together spent 85p per vote cast at the 2010 General Election.

Figures released by the Electoral Reform Society show Corby and East Northamptonshire – won by Louise Mensch for the Conservatives from Labour’s Phil Hope – had one of the highest totals in the country, with £58,549.94 spent, the equivalent of £1.08 for each voter who cast a ballot.

In Kettering, £37,602.73 was spent – an average of 79p per vote – and in Wellingborough and Rushden the figure was £34,738.21, or 67p each. Both seats were held comfortably by the Tories.

In the report, the Electoral Reform Society’s Chris Terry said: “It is a basic principle of democracy that all votes should hold equal value.

“But in Britain, the cash value of an individual’s vote varies wildly depending simply on where they live.

“As first-past-the-post locks out opposition parties in safe seats, it is only logical to target resources at those seats which are winnable.

“This is a perfectly reasonable response to the system, but it neglects voters.

“Those voters who have the misfortune of living in safe seats are ignored.”

Candidates in Northampton North, won by the Conservatives, were the fifth highest spenders of the 650 constituencies nationwide, with an average of £2.07 spent per vote cast.

The lowest total was in the Labour safe seat of Bootle, where just 14p was spent per vote.