22 November 2011

Will Coombe Vale see Zac's jackets and scooters reappear?

Coombe Vale is the first electoral contest in the Richmond Park constituency since the general election when Zac Goldsmith narrowly defeated Lib Dem Susan Kramer.

Goldsmith immediately got into to trouble over his election expenses, with an official Electoral Commission investigation concluding:

"...we consider that the way in which some election costs were apportioned between Mr Goldsmith's Parliamentary campaign and the concurrent local government election campaign was not consistent with the Commission's guidance or good practice. Had the costs been apportioned in a way more consistent with our guidance, Mr Goldsmith would have exceeded the spending limit..."

The Commission estimated that Goldsmith overspent by nearly £1,000 in the so called 'short campaign' - the period from the dissolution of Parliament to polling day. However as they they felt it was due to incompetence rather than intent and it wasn't suffciently serious they somewhat bizarrely did not refer his case to the police for prosecution.

In their investigation the Commission somewhat controversially excluded two high profile campaign accessories - a large number of bright blue jackets emblazoned with 'I back Zac' and four electric delivery scooters. Their rationale was that these had been purchased by the Conservative association, with the jackets having removable stickers and the scooters being hired by the campaign on a daily basis. The report can be found here.

Zac's jackets and scooters on display outside his then HQ. Photo by Kingston Guardian.

So, given Richmond Park Conservative Association has invested several thousand pounds in these jackets and scooters, one can assume they will play a prominent part in the Coombe Vale by-election. We'll see...

1 comment:

  1. And Zac had to spend thousands on security costs to keep out Liberal Democrat infiltrators.