Appendix C: Apportioning election expenses between party and candidate

Advertising promoting an electorate candidate is an election expense of the candidate. Advertising promoting the party vote is an election expense of the party. These rules apply regardless of who pays the expenses.

Expenses must be apportioned where an advertisement promotes both the party vote and the election of a constituency candidate. Apportionment is calculated in proportion to the coverage provided to the party andcandidate. The following example illustrates the principles to be applied, but we are happy to discuss particular problems.

Example

FACTS
(1) Party X is contesting the party vote. Mrs Y is standing in an electorate as a candidate for Party X.
(2) Party X and Mrs Y agree to arrange advertising to be displayed by billboard for 6 months from 23 March to 22 September 2017.
(3) The content of the advertising comprises two parts. The first part asks voters to give their party vote to Party X. The second part asks voters to give their electorate vote to Mrs Y. From a content perspective, the advertisement can be factually judged as relating 40% to the party vote and 60% to the electorate vote.
(4) The total cost of the advertising is $15,000. An analysis of the total cost based on invoices and other evidence reveals the following:

A. Costs relating to the candidate vote

  • Artwork and photography of the candidate                                                       $1,000

B. Costs relating to the party vote

  • Artwork and photography of the party leader                                                    $2,000

C. Joint costs

  • General design, production, printing, material, assembly, transport                 $8,000
  • Site rentals paid for 6 months                                                                           $4,000

                                                                  __________________________________________
                                                                                      Total election expenses $15,000

Allocation of costs

Some costs clearly relate to the candidate (A in the example). Other costs clearly relate to the party (B in the example). The joint costs (C in the example) require apportionment on a factual basis which in this example means 60% of those joint costs will be allocated to the candidate and 40% allocated to the party. Because the billboard is displayed for six months (three months before and three months during the regulated period) the total candidate and party expenses require apportionment.

In this example 50% of the costs must be apportioned between the candidate and party returns.

The expenses should therefore be returned as follows:

Candidate Party
A. Artwork and photography of the candidate $1,000 B. Artwork and photography of the party leader $2,000
C. Joint costs
General design, production, printing, material, assembly, transport
$4,800 (60%) C. Joint costs
General design, production, printing, material, assembly, transport
$3,200 (40%)
Site rentals for 6 months $2,400 (60%) Site rentals for 3 months $1,600 (40%)
Total candidate’s expenses $8,200 Total party’s expenses $6,800

This result is not affected by the payment arrangements (if any) made between the candidate and the party.

If each pays the share allocated to them no other issues arise. But if, for example, the party pays the whole $15,000, the candidate would need to disclose in Part 1 of their return a donation of $8,200 from the party and in Part 2 of their return a candidate expense of $4,100.

Total for inclusion in candidate’s return of expenses $4,100 Total for inclusion in party’s return of expenses $3,400

 

Last updated: 10 April 2017