Electoral Commission
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Final details of campaign spending at the 2016 National Assembly for Wales election published by Electoral Commission

Two political parties, the Conservative and Unionist Party and the Labour Party, reported spending over £650,000 campaigning at the 2016 National Assembly for Wales (NAW) election, figures published yesterday by the political finance regulator show.

Parties who spent over £250,000 campaigning at the NAW election were required to submit their independently audited spending returns by 5 November 2016.

A full breakdown of yesterday’s publication can be seen on the Commission’s website and a summary can be seen in the table below. No registered non-party campaigner reported spending over £250,000.

Party Name


Conservative and Unionist Party      


Labour Party




Commenting on the data, Rhydian Thomas, Head of the Electoral Commission in Wales said:

“By publishing these returns, voters are able to see how much parties and campaigners raised and spent in trying to secure their vote at the 2016 National Assembly for Wales election. The publication of this data is vital in ensuring transparency and accountability in political finance in Wales.”

Total spending

A total of 17 political parties contested at least one regional seat at the NAW election and reported spending £1,239,128. This was more than the £866,410 political parties reported spending at the 2011 NAW election.

Registered non-party campaigners were also required to submit a campaign expenditure return to the Commission. Two non-party campaigners submitted returns totalling £23,794. This was less than the £31,922 third parties reported spending at the 2011 NAW election.

Category of spending

Under the legislation, parties are required to report all spending against one of nine categories. The table below shows spending by category for all 17 parties that have reported spending and a comparison to the 2011 NAW election.


2016 Expenditure

2011 Expenditure




Campaign broadcasts






Market research/canvassing






Overheads and general administration      



Rallies and other events






Unsolicited material to electors



The Commission published the details of the political parties and non-party campaigners who spent under £250,000 at the NAW election in September 2016 and you can see the press release for this publication on our website here.

For more information please contact Laura Ward at the Electoral Commission in Wales press office on 02920 346810 or at lward@electoralcommission.org.uk

Out of office hours 07789 920414

Notes to editors

The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. We work to promote public confidence in the democratic process and ensure its integrity by:

  • enabling the delivery of free and fair elections and referendums, focussing on the needs of electors and addressing the changing environment to ensure every vote remains secure and accessible
  • regulating political finance – taking proactive steps to increase transparency, ensure compliance and pursue breaches
  • using our expertise to make and advocate for changes to our democracy, aiming to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency
  1. The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the UK and Scottish Parliaments.
  2. The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (2000) introduced controls on campaign expenditure by political parties contesting UK Parliamentary elections. Parties with expenditure up to and including £250,000 must deliver a report to the Commission within three months of the election. Parties with expenditure over £250,000 must deliver an audited report to the Commission within six months of the election.
  3. The Commission has also published details of party expenditure over £250,000 at the Scottish Parliamentary and Northern Ireland Assembly election. You can find more information on this here
  4. For the 2016 National Assembly for Wales election the regulated period  ran from 5 January 2016 until polling day (5 May 2016)
  5. Non-party campaigners must register with the Commission before they can spend more than £10,000 in Wales and are required to submit an expenditure return if they campaigned and spent over £10,000 in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
  6. Figures in this press release are rounded to the nearest £.
Channel website: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk

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