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  1. Election 2024
9 May 2007

Will rich Tory donors buy the next election?

The sobering messages that can be drawn from the local elections

By Martin Bright

There are a number of sobering messages to be drawn from the local election for the Labour Party. But there are also wider consequences for democracy (no less).

Much has been made of the way the loss of council seats will hollow out Labour’s activist base. But there is something else going on here. I am not convinced that the Tories have rebuilt their activist base. In fact, I am sure they haven’t. So what last week’s election results show is that you can make serious gains without a local party base.

The Conservative Party spent serious money on the local elections, but much of it was on leafleting campaigns. Could it now be possible to win elections without the use of local party machinery. If so, we are getting very close to a situation where the Conservative Party’s rich donors will be able to buy the next election victory.

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