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Kenneth Benoit and Michael Marsh, "For a Few Euros More: Campaign Spending Effects in the Irish Local Elections of 1999," Party Politics, 9 (September 2003), 561-582.

First Paragraph:
The assumption underlying the legislation on party and campaign finance introduced in most liberal democracies in the past 50 years is that money matters. While national approaches to controlling the effects of money on
elections differ, the standard repertoire includes spending disclosure, spending limits and the provision of state funding. Disclosure legislation accepts the electoral consequences but seeks to lessen policy consequences by at least forcing parties and candidates to show how much they spend and explain where it came from. Spending limits take this a stage further, ostensibly enforcing a level playing field for all, although particularly where these limits are high considerable inequality may persist. Finally, public funding provides all candidates with financial resources, although normally those who are more successful get more money.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Candidates, spending, and votes in the 1999 Irish local elections
Table 2: OLS regression of votes on spending, incumbency and registered voters
Table 3: OLS regression of votes on candidate spending as a percentage of total district spending, incumbency and registered voters
Figure 1: Candidate vote as a proportion of the electorate, by log of candidate percentage spending, for (a) challengers and (b) incumbents
Table 4: Intra-party effects: OLS regression of candidate's percentage of the party vote on candidate's percentage of total party spending in the district
Table 5: Logit regression of winning a seat on relative spending, incumbency and district size
Fiure 2: Effect of increasing percentage of spending on proability ofwinning a seat, comparing challengers and incumbents.

Last Paragraph:
Our study has two findings that should be of general interest beyond the context of Irish local politics. First, what we have observed here is, in a microcosm, the process by which spending drives electoral success even at the local level, where spending is measured in terms that are, by comparison, minute. As a litmus test for the ability of campaign spending to affect election outcomes, our argument is that if we can observe effects in this context, then this is strong evidence that campaign spending does matter generally. Second, this article offers a preliminary look at the impact of spending in an STV election, something that no previous study of campaign spending has examined. A natural extension of the analysis would be to see how much spending matters in a parliamentary election in the same national context. Because obtaining reliable instruments for spending is likely to be just as difficult in other multiparty contexts, we also imagine that the approach taken here of examining relative, rather than absolute, spending may have useful applications elsewhere. In particular we intend to examine in future research the effects of spending in STV elections to the Irish Dáil, something now possible owing to the mandatory disclosure of candidate and party spending in the general election of May 2002. We also intend to explore the political context of spending, since more information is readily available about expected results in particular constituencies in a national election. Our expectation is that if seats can also be 'bought' in the general election the price will be somewhat higher.