Tuesday 22 January 2019

Top election spenders both failed to win seats

LABOUR politician Emer Costello spent €202,034 on her unsuccessful campaign for election to the European Parliament.

Ms Costello's campaign topped the list for expenditure at the election in May, according to figures released by the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPOC).

It means that her campaign spent the equivalent of almost €7.80 for each of Ms Costello's 25,961 first preference votes in the poll.

She was an outgoing MEP, but failed to secure her seat in the Dublin constituency and was eliminated on the third count.

Sinn Fein's Lynn Boylan, who topped the poll with 83,264 first preference votes, also spent the least amount on the campaign trail, at €61,973.

Non-party candidate Nessa Childers spent €106,777 on the election, eventually coming third in the poll with 35,939 first preference votes.

Fine Gael's Brian Hayes, who came second with 54,676 first preference votes, spent €146,109 on the campaign.

The total spending of all candidates in the election came to almost €2.9m, while €22,649 worth of donations to the various campaigns was also declared.


The spending limit for each candidate in all constituencies was €230,000.

SIPOC said that it found no evidence that any election agent or national agent overspent at the election.

Five of the unsuccessful European candidates nationwide who furnished statements disclosed that they had received a donation in relation to the election.

The largest value of donations disclosed was by Senator Ronan Mullen with €10,500.

Meanwhile, figures have also been released in relation to spending at the by-elections in the Dublin West and Westmeath constituencies.

The total amount spent in both elections came to €275,867, while the total donations disclosed amounted to €11,690.

The spending limit per candidate in both constituencies was €37,650.

The highest expenditure incurred in Dublin West was on behalf of Fianna Fail candidate David McGuinness at €37,107.

The successful candidate in the election, the Socialist Party's Ruth Coppinger, spent €22,984.

She managed to secure 5,977 first preference votes, while Mr McGuinness came in a close second at 5,053.

The Dublin election was triggered by the resignation of Labour's Patrick Nulty, who admitted sending inappropriate messages via social media to a 17-year-old girl, while under the influence of alcohol.



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