Thursday 8 July 2010

How much does money matter in the leadership race?

David Miliband has an astonishingly large lead in the Electoral Commission figures reported by Paul Waugh, raising £185,000 compared to £28,000 for Ed Balls and £15,000 for Ed Miliband, with the other two candidates not registering donations over the reportable thresholds.

Which raises various questions:

Just how will all that money be spent to try to influence the outcome? Perhaps most importantly, how much will money matter in the race?

Waugh makes the point that the elder Miliband will have the advantage of being able to present himself as best placed to restore the fortunes of a near bankrupt party.

However, the funding gap could also enable his less well-funded rivals cast themselves as running "insurgency" campaigns to challenge the moneybags candidate's claim to frontrunner status.

The possibility of a "David versus Goliath" narrative could be useful to David Miliband's opponents.

But could that ever be as useful as the cold hard cash?

1 comment:

Leo said...

It looks like David Miliband's campaign are, apart from spending money on expensive American political consultants (see the unsubtle appropriation of his opponent's animating terms, for one!), trying simply to demonstrate their ability to raise money in this election, & by extension their fundraising abilities for a General Election. But dipping into Blair's & Mandelson's old contact book does not an impressive step forward make.

That ever-shrinking but always vocal constituency within the Labour party that is impressed by such a show of fundraising largesse would be well advised to stop for a moment, consider what tactics brought a dip in our membership, a loss of intellectual dexterity in power, & loss of trust & support among the wider public, & to not be jellylegged by the implied promises of favour from vested interests that such large donations are supposed to signify.