A BREAKDOWN of the thousands of pounds invested by the region's political hopefuls in last year's general election has been revealed – including one MP whose finances equated to just nine pence of spending per vote.

Across the 10 Dorset and New Forest constituencies, a total of £238,438.44 was spent by the 45 candidates on their campaigns, data released by the Electoral Commission showed.

The top spender in these seats was Chris Loder, who successfully retained West Dorset for the Conservatives following Oliver Letwin's decision not to stand.

Mr Loder spent £14,991.37 during the campaign, marginally more than Liberal Democrat rival Edward Morello who forked out £14,922.34.

Six unsuccessful candidates spent more in the run up to the election on December 12 than their Conservative colleagues, who went on to complete a blue clean sweep in Dorset and the New Forest.

The Labour Party's Corrie Drew had a total of £10,663.01 compared to Tobias Ellwood's £8,270.40.

Earlier in 2019, Ms Drew set up a crowdfunding page to help pay her living costs, so she could continue her campaign.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Poole Victoria Collins spent £2,601 more than Tory MP Sir Robert Syms during the campaign, however, she polled third with voters behind Sir Robert and Labour's Sue Aitkenhead, who racked up just £2,324.31.

Vikki Slade, Liberal Democrat leader of BCP Council, failed for the third time in her efforts to secure the Mid Dorset and North Poole seat. Her general election spending total was fourth highest in the county at £12,938.57. Incumbent Michael Tomlinson's figure was £10,649.06.

Fellow Liberal Democrat candidate David Chadwick, who challenged for the North Dorset, also spent more than his Conservative counterpart, Simon Hoare, with totals of £13,054.37 and £11,745.74, respectively. Mr Hoare retained the seat with a 63.64 per cent vote share.

In the New Forest West seat, both Green Party candidate Nick Bubb (£5,964.23) and Liberal Democrat Jack Davies (£3,371.37) exceeded the amount put into the campaign by Conservative veteran Sir Desmond Swayne, who won with a sizeable majority.

Sir Desmond, who has represented the constituency since 1997, spent £3,007 on defending his position.

Across the UK, he came out as the candidate to spend the fourth smallest amount and win their seat. With 32,113 votes in the election, Sir Desmond's spending equated to nine pence per vote, closely followed by New Forest East MP Julian Lewis who recorded 14 pence per vote to retain his seat.

Candidate spending in Dorset and New Forest seats (winner of seat in bold)

Bournemouth East

Corrie Drew, Labour Party, £10,663.01

Tobias Ellwood, Conservatives, £8,270.40

Philip Dunn, Liberal Democrats, £3,812.92

Emma Johnson, Independent, £1,349.60

Alasdair Keddie, Green Party, £1,055.96

Ben Aston, Independent, £905.94

Bournemouth West

Conor Burns, Conservatives, £11,070.59

David Stokes, Labour Party, £8,203.67

Jon Nicholas, Liberal Democrats, £3,694.99

Simon Bull, Green Party, £820.06


Sir Christopher Chope, Conservatives, £10,628.05

Mike Cox, Liberal Democrats, £4,569.04

Andrew Dunne, Labour Party, £1,676.50

Chris Rigby, Green Party, £996.32


Victoria Collins, Liberal Democrats, £11,059

Sir Robert Syms, Conservatives, £8,458.01

Sue Aitkenhead, Labour Party, £2,324.31

David Young. Independent, £1,081.62

Barry Harding-Rathbone, Green Party, £364.94 Mid Dorset and North Poole

Vikki Slade, Liberal Democrats, £12,938.57

Michael Tomlinson, Conservatives, £10,649.06

Joanne Oldale, Labour Party, £3,111.78

Natalie Carswell, Green Party, £834.84

North Dorset

David Chadwick, Liberal Democrats, £13,054.37

Simon Hoare, Conservatives, £11,745.74

Pat Osborne, Labour Party, £3,576

Ken Huggins, Green Party, £81.76

South Dorset

Richard Drax, Conservatives, £11,765.33

Nick Ireland, Liberal Democrats, £9,184.01

Carralyn Parkes, Labour Party, £8,527.87

Jon Orrell, Green Party, £3,817.82

Joseph Green, Independent, £23.97

West Dorset

Chris Loder, Conservatives, £14,991.37

Edward Morello, Liberal Democrats, £14,922.34

Claudia Sorin, Labour Party, £2,203.61

Kelvin Clayton, Green Party, £808.73

New Forest West

Nick Bubb, Green Party, £5,964.23

Jack Davies, Liberal Democrats, £3,371.37

Sir Desmond Swayne, Conservatives, £3,007.79

Jo Graham, Labour Party, £2,911.93 New Forest East

Julian Lewis, Conservatives, £4,560.85

Bob Johnston, Liberal Democrats, £1,980.92

Julie Hope, Labour Party, £1,427.00

Nicola Jolly, Green Party, £1,258.10

Andrew Knight, Animal Welfare Party, £714.15