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Electoral Fraud investigation

(206 Posts)
JessM Sun 08-May-16 19:44:15

Not sure that this has had much coverage but it's a potentially explosive issue in Westminster. It's alleged that, during the 2015 campaign, the Tory party failed to account properly for expenditure. There are strict spending limits per candidate and they are supposed to declare everything. The allegation is that Tory central office bussed in squads of activists to work on behalf of local candidates and that the expenditure on hotel bills etc was not shown on the constituency accounts.
Grant Shapps was in charge of the bus full of activists - joint party chairman at the time. He has recently said that accounting for the expenditure was not his responsibility - thus passing the blame on to the current party chairman.
See this article for the constituencies which might be involved.

rosesarered Sun 08-May-16 21:58:16

The Tory votes were not frauds, just more money spent on canvassing.

rosesarered Sun 08-May-16 21:59:40

The Labour votes were not frauds either, the votes are all valid.

rosesarered Sun 08-May-16 22:01:38

I doubt the battle buses made any difference to people's opinions on voting.

durhamjen Sun 08-May-16 22:02:20

You know that for sure, do you, roses? Channel4 could have saved a lot of money by not investigating if they'd just asked you.
For your information, there is a limit for each constituency. The battlebus costs and hotel costs put each of those constituencies above the amount they were allowed to spend. That is fraud.

Jalima Sun 08-May-16 22:02:21

a bit confused about what I said the same? (or didn't) about duck houses (I don't think I have ever commented on duck houses).

Right, I asked the question and you have given me the answer that they were all marginal. And they threw more money at them than they were legally allowed.

Of course it should be investigated to find out if it was deliberate fraud or a mistake, and who was aware of it.

Anya Sun 08-May-16 22:03:10

But roses that's exactly why there are limits on the amounts that can be spend it doesn't become a case of the richest individual or party being able to afford more and better methods of canvassing, leafleting, etc.

whitewave Sun 08-May-16 22:04:05

There is a rule for a particular reason about how much can be spent. The Tories cheated. Shapps has already tried to distance himself.

Anya Sun 08-May-16 22:04:45

Try not t get personal please DJ you're lowering the tone of this thread.

JessM Sun 08-May-16 22:05:26

Our AM candidate was so careful about following the rules that she could not buy volunteers a cuppa (much to her embarrassment) as it could technically be a bribe to get someone to vote for her. That is an indication of how meticulous most candidates are - not "what's a dozen hotel bills between friends". This ties in with the infamous battle bus (the manager of which has been banned for life from Tory party) - allegations of excessive drinking and goings-on in hotels while on the road etc
Tory investigation of bullying by said manager still ongoing I think?

whitewave Sun 08-May-16 22:06:50

Oh yes I forgot that.

Jalima Sun 08-May-16 22:07:19

Fair enough, the people responsible for the fraud should be held to account.

But how many people saw a battle bus, were canvassed and changed their mind as a result? Impossible to know. And since one year has passed since then, other factors may have made people change their minds yet again. Or confirmed their opinion.

I certainly saw no sign of any buses and not a single person came to the door round here last year (unlike last week's election).

Anya Sun 08-May-16 22:09:36

That's ridiculous Jen - when we'd all finished canvassing we all adjourned to a local hostlery.

whitewave Sun 08-May-16 22:10:41

Can't prove an impoderable (is that the right spelling?). But you can prove fraud.

Anya Sun 08-May-16 22:11:25


durhamjen Sun 08-May-16 22:12:20

Don't get personal, Anya. Lowering the tone of the thread. Or at least, if you do, call the right person ridiculous..

durhamjen Sun 08-May-16 22:15:08

It doesn't matter, Jalima. What matters is if they spent too much in order to try and win a seat. That's fraud.
Was your seat targeted by the battle buses? If not, of course you didn't see one.

Jalima Sun 08-May-16 22:16:07

Yes, that whitewave, however it's spelt!
(imponderable I think)
And yes, you can prove fraud.

Surely it is then up to the Electoral Commission to decide what action to take next when or if any fraud was committed.

durhamjen Sun 08-May-16 22:17:12

Good, this.

rosesarered Sun 08-May-16 22:19:46

I do know the rules on spending for political parties djen .... But kind of you to point it out anyway. in terms of what is spent ( allowed) on canvassing, this was over what should have been spent but hardly a fortune.
I doubt many were persuaded to vote , I don't know anyone who responds to leaflets, calls at the door etc.
Of course it will be investigated, parties should stick to the correct amounts.

Ana Sun 08-May-16 22:22:18

I'm puzzled as to why you didn't start a thread about this when you mentioned it on the Government Watch thread on May 4th durhamjen. Why do you always wait for someone else to do it?

rosesarered Sun 08-May-16 22:22:27

Nobody should get over excited and expect another GE!

Devorgilla Sun 08-May-16 22:26:11

Of course it has to be thoroughly investigated. If it is proved to be so then they do need to hold another election in those constituencies no matter what the numbers, even if only to confirm the validity of the candidate elected. We pride ourselves on having as honest an election as is possible, allowing for human error. In close contests every 'spoiled' vote is scrutinized by all parties to ensure fairness.

durhamjen Sun 08-May-16 22:39:28

Ana, that attack is pathetic.
Have you nothing to say on the subject?

Anya Mon 09-May-16 07:47:27

DJ if you intend to dish it out then you have to be prepared to take it. Your posts do often lower the tone of what has been a rare moment of genuine political debate on a thread. So I'm quite happy that my comment (or attack as you prefer to see it) was simply a warning that you need to post with a little more discretion.

I don't see WW , as an example, getting overly personal. She says what she has to say in a firm but polite manner and contributes to genuine debate as opposed to shouting down another's point of view.

Secondly I did make my point quite clearly, but then I don't expect you to have realised that. And in fact I agree that this infringement of rules has to be investigated and I suspect there was an element of possible shenanigans going on here.

Anya Mon 09-May-16 07:53:00

And I wasn't calling Jess ridiculous but the idea that someone couldn't buy volunteers a cup of tea. Don't see boggles where none exist grin