How much does a UK Parliamentary seat cost?

When we were doing our previous election piece on who was winning the battle for social media we came across a shocking fact: the Tories are spending £100,000/month on their Facebook page. That’s a lot of money! And it got us thinking….how much is each political party spending and how much does each seat cost? So we got some data and….

…turned it into this awesome data viz:

These circles represent how much each party has spent in total over the course of the election. You’ll notice the Conservatives seem to have the deepest pockets with a whopping £3 million, although interestingly UKIP is close behind with £2.9 million.

Now let’s break that down into price per seat:

These figures are based on the latest (at the time of writing) polling figures from electoral calculus shown below.

You’ll notice a distinct reversal for most parties from the amount spent to the amount per seat. So while the Conservatives may have spent £3 million, it’s only actually costing them roughly £10,000 per seat. Until we look at UKIP. Since they’re only projected to win two seats, all £2.9 million is split between the two.

Now the eagle-eyed among you may point out that some constituencies are more contested than others, meaning that the majority of the party’s spending will actually go to getting those seats and not spread evenly across all constituencies. And while we can’t tell you what that split my be exactly, we can show you this cool viz of the most contested seats for each party.

The darker the green the more contested the constituency (ie. fewer seats separate the parties). Looks like Labour might want to put a little more of their £1 million into Warwick and Leamington – they’re only down by 68 seats!

All data collected by from and excludes Northern Ireland

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