James Forsyth

The money that didn’t swing the election

The money that didn't swing the election
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Before the election, the Tories used to regularly, and with a certain justification, complain about how the vast majority of money that Peter Mandelson’s department was dishing out to businesses via the Strategic Investment Fund went to those based in Labour constituencies. Not a single Tory-held seat benefitted from this £601.5 million of spending. Indeed, 84 percent of the constituencies that benefitted from this money were Labour at the time.

But new research on the election result shows that this money doesn’t seem to have made voters much more loyal to Labour. In the 25 seats that benefitted from the fund the swing against Labour was 12 percent. This is only marginally smaller than the 14 percent swing against Labour nationally.

This fund was, of course, the one that offered the now infamous loan to Sheffield Forgemasters which the coalition cancelled despite the firm being based in Nick Clegg’s Sheffield. He’ll be hoping that the fund continues to have little effect on election results.