The 2015 general election campaign officially begins on Friday, meaning candidates’ spending will be subject to strict rules and limits. The “long campaign” runs from 19 December until Parliament’s dissolution and introduces the first limits on individual spending in constituencies. From 30 March, the “short” campaign period will be triggered, and even tighter restrictions will apply. Election spending is regulated by the watchdog, the Electoral Commission. They apply to anyone who wants to become a candidate at a UK parliamentary election, which is to be held on 7 May 2015.
Campaign spending in each constituency is strictly limited and candidates are required by the elections watchdog to keep a record of all expenses. The pre-candidacy spending limit, during the long campaign, is £30,700, plus 9p per voter in county constituencies, and 6p per voter in borough seats.
During the short campaign, an official candidate may spend £8,700, plus 9p per voter in county constituencies and 6p per voter in borough seats. The government increased the amounts in August, to take account of inflation since they were last changed in 2005.