As the prime minister licks his wounds in Suffolk while all around the media are speculating on his future he must be regretting not going to the country last autumn.
More evidence emerged this month that he had been planning an autumn election and that the government was ramping itself up for it. Now you might point out that it is illegal for the government to support a Labour election campaign but Labour has previous for this.
The Central Office of Information published its annual report on 16th July. This showed that government comms spending rose by 16% or £54 million last year. It is clear from COI’s figures that the Labour government managed to create peaks in comms spending in time for the 2001 and 2005 general elections and again last year for the election that never was. Note you can’t see a 1997 peak. Well done honest John.
Just to be clear the 2008 figure above is spending to end of March 2008 so covers autumn 2007 and the run up to it. The 1997, 2001 and 2005 elections all happened in May so the spending peak (if any) occurred in the previous financial year.