Ukip leader Paul Nuttall failed to win the Stoke Central by-election despite spending more than £10,000 more on the campaign than any other candidate.
Nuttall threw £99,455 at the February by-election in a desperate bid to make a Parliamentary breakthrough for Ukip, according to spending returns reported by the Stoke Sentinel newspaper today.
But he finished second with 5,233 votes – more than 2,000 votes behind winning Labour candidate Gareth Snell, who spent the second highest sum of £89,911.
Stoke on Trent Central, result:
LAB: 37.1% (-2.2)
UKIP: 24.7% (+2.1)
CON: 24.3% (+1.8)
LDEM: 9.8% (+5.7)
GRN: 1.4% (-2.2)
— Britain Elects (@britainelects) February 24, 2017
That means every vote Nuttall received cost £19 in election spending compared to £11.40 for Snell.
Nuttall spent a whopping £10,684.66 on advertising – three times more than Snell and twice as much as Tory candidate Jack Brereton.
The UKIP leader also spent £39,753.43 on sending unsolicited material to voters – almost double the figure spent by Labour, although less than Lib Dem candidate Zulfiqar Ali, who finished fourth.
The local newspaper also reveals Nuttall spent £46.56 on beer mats, £62.40 plus VAT on 300 Ukip plastic bags, £2,378 to rent a campaign HQ and £6,000 on security.
The figure would be even higher if it took into account the amount Nuttall spent on his empty residence in the constituency.
Inside the empty Stoke house which Paul Nuttall claimed is his "home", and which will appear on ballot papers as such pic.twitter.com/RR7upTW2Ek
— Michael Crick (@MichaelLCrick) February 1, 2017
But it’s still a massive dent in Ukip’s emptying bank account – which has already been hit by the departure of donor Arron Banks and £217,000 in public funding since the party’s only MP Douglas Carswell quit to become an independent.
Nuttall and his barmy army of Brexiteers are now reliant on EU funding…