FG spent €3.1m on election campaign
Fine Gael splashed out €3.1m on the general election campaign that propelled Enda Kenny into the Taoiseach's office -- becoming the biggest party in the country, as it spent €1m more than Fianna Fail or Labour.
It marked a major turnaround from the 2007 General Election when Fianna Fail's €3.6m election spend was far ahead of Fine Gael's €2.8m outlay.
But in a sign of the impact of the recession, the €9.2m spent in total on the general election was a decrease of almost 16pc on the €11m spent during the 2007 campaign.
The figures for Fine Gael's election spending raise questions about whether corporate donors switched to it from Fianna Fail. But Fine Gael will not have to supply this information to the political watchdog, the Standards in Public Office Commission, until the end of next March.
Fine Gael stated last night that it had built up the election war chest by running its national draw -- which generates up to €1.2m per year. It also took out a loan and its 104 election candidates raised money themselves. A Fine Gael spokesman said it had spent considerably less per elected TD than any other major party.