General Election 2015: Ukip is expected to lose a lot less money in election deposits - at the cost of the Lib Dems

Ashley Kirk
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Ukip leader Nigel Farage enjoys a pint of beer after the party's success in the 2014 local elections. Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

While Ukip may not be set for many MPs after the General Election, they are likely to lose a lot less money in lost deposits this time round. The same can't be said for the Lib Dems

Both Ukip and the Greens are fielding more candidates than ever before and, if Lord Ashcroft’s polls are to be believed, many of them are likely to reach the five per cent of the vote needed to get their £500 deposit back - in contrast to the 2010 election.

In 2010, the Liberal Democrats were the only party to not lose a deposit - with Labour and the Conservatives losing them in just two and five seats respectively.

Ukip and the Greens, however, failed to achieve the five per cent target in hundreds of seats.

This cost Ukip £229,000 and the Greens £163,500.

In 2015, however, data from the 156 constituencies polled by Lord Ashcroft shows a different financial picture, with the smaller parties enjoying the reward of fewer candidates losing their deposits.

In this sample, Labour is expected to not lose a single deposit.

With the Lib Dems crashing to 8.5 per cent in the polls, they are expected to lose 33 per cent of their deposits in the Ashcroft-covered constituencies.

If this is matched nationwide, Nick Clegg's party could lose deposits in more than 200 constituencies - costing an expected £105,000.

Ukip, however, stands to lose just 19 of its 624 deposits, 3 per cent of the total, compared with 82 per cent in 2010. That will cost Nigel Farage and co just £9,500. This is £219,500 less than in 2010.

The Green party would lose its deposit in 61 per cent of the Ashcroft constituencies, down from 98 per cent in 2010, which would mean 350 seats if matched nationally. This would cost the party £175,000, as it is fielding 70 per cent more candidates this time round - more in total terms, but a relative success.

On a universal national swing based on Ashcroft’s polls, the Lib Dems could lose over £100,000 - more than 10-times the bill Ukip could end up paying.

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