Yup, you read that headline right. For those are the surprising figures from the 2009 European Election expense returns which have just been published.
In 2009 the Conservatives spent £2,482,536 on election expenses for the European elections, just ahead of Labour on £2,302,244 with the Liberal Democrats on £1,180,883.
However, while the Labour figure was up 35% on the 2004 European elections, the Conservatives had cut their spending by 21%. The Liberal Democrat spending was 1% lower.
UKIP spent £1,270,855, a cut of 46%.
In the elections the Conservatives, UKIP and Liberal Democrats each gained a seat while Labour lost five. (Seat change figures based on notional results from 2004 taking into account reduction in number of MEPs in several regions.)