General Election 2015 campaign costs explained: Where do smaller political parties spend their money?

James Nickerson
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Plaid Cymru spent the most of all parties that spent under £250,000 (Source: Getty)

While campaign spending for a number of parties including the Conservatives and Labour reaches the 10s of millions of pounds in the build-up to the General Election, a number of parties spend significantly less.

Data released by the Electoral Commission, the independent party funding watchdog, today gave details to campaign expenditure of all political parties and non-party campaigners that spent £250,000 or less at campaigning.

Read more: Where have politicians raised their money from?

In total, just under £2.4m was spent by those parties whose total expenditure came in at less than £250,000. Political parties spent just over £580,000 of the £2.4m, while third party campaigners spent almost £1.8m of the total.

Here are the top 10 companies to benefit from the smaller parties in the run up to May's General Election.

While there was a lot of traditional expenditure on flyers and communications, such as with Clarkeprint, Flyers Delivered and Trafford Media & Communications, campaigning groups such as London First, which is an organisation that promotes the building of more houses, also saw a lot of spending.

Meanwhile, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament received around £77,000 and the Salvation Army pocketed £49,000.

But smaller parties also saw the value of people power. Facebook was paid more than £34,700 for its services from the parties and third parties, while Google received nearly £14,000. Twitter, however, earned just £84.05.

Read more: Five charts showing where political parties get their money

The top 10 spending political parties are shown below:

The below shows where political parties spent that money:

This chart shows the top third party donors and what they spent:

Only six political parties that spent more than £250,000 campaigning at the General Election: the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, Ukip, the Greens and SNP.

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