Labour poll spend dwarfed by Tories

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The Labour Party spent just £8 million on its failed bid to return to power this year - less than half the budget for the 2005 general election, official figures showed today.

David Cameron's Tory opposition spent more than twice as much - £16.7 million - according to returns published by the Electoral Commission.

The drop in the amount devoted by cash-strapped Labour to the campaign was the main reason behind a £10.6 million drop in the overall bill for spending by parties.

Liberal Democrat spending rose slightly to £4.8 million.