The fog of secrecy which shrouds the party coffers makes an assessment of the financial resources of the parties difficult. We can begin by an examination of the returned costs for both elections which are set out in Table 14.1. Taking the most useful figure for comparison, the expenses per opposed candidate, three distinct levels of expenditure are apparent, first the major parties, then Labour, and then the Nationalists. If this provides a rough ranking of the parties according to their financial resources four qualifications need to be remembered. First, much expenditure by the central authorities is not recorded in these figures because it was not directly attributable to any candidate; secondly, there was probably some fudging of returns by candidates of the two large parties;1 thirdly, the Labour average hides a rather unusual and significant distribution of costs per candidate; fourthly elections in Ireland were much cheaper than in Great Britain.2
KeywordsTrade Union Central Authority Labour Party Socialist Society General Fund
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.