Donations to Political Parties Analysis: 3rd Quarter, 2012

December 4, 2012 4:51 PM
By Jon Narcross in Unlock Democracy

Every three months, the Electoral Commission publishes data of donations to political parties from the last quarter. Using these figures, we look for long-term trends in the donations to each party, from each donor type, and the overall levels. We also shed some light on the individuals, companies, trade unions and other organisations that our political parties rely on for their funding. You can read our report from the third quarter of 2012 from our website (pdf).

Over the last 11 years, we have seen a repeating trend of a dip in funding after each election year (2001, 2005, 2010), followed by gradually increasing levels of donations. This effect was also echoed in 2007, due to speculation that an election would be called by the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

However, 2012 donations are down by more than a quarter compared to this time last year, with donations to the Conservatives down over 10%, Labour and Lib Dems over 30% and donations to SNP down a massive 84%. It is looking likely that, for the first time since records began, donations for the year 2 years after an election will be less than the year immediately following an election..


Specifically in the third quarter of 2012, we saw: • The total donations in the quarter fall from £7,892,718 down to £7,013,946 • A decrease in donations to the Conservative Party to £2,613,496 down from down from £3,785,579 the previous quarter • Conservative Party co-Treasurers Michael S. Farmer and Stanley Fink topped the quarterly donations list with donations of £525,560 and £151,900 respectively • Labour Party donations have increased to £3,011,858 up from £2,964,471.05 from the previous quarter • Trade union Unite donate £791,281 to Labour, though the Party's share of funding from unions dropped to 77% this quarter, down from 84% for 2011 • Liberal Democrat donations have fallen to £578,087 down from £717,797.26 last quarter • The Liberal Democrats received further support from Ministry of Sound in the form of a £54,000 donation • The SNP received just one recordable donation of £195,879.05 from the legacy of Edwin G Morgan.

Data courtesy of the Electoral Commission. Annual donation totals are adjusted according to CPI inflation.

Download the full report here (pdf).

Data courtesy of the Electoral Commission. Annual donation totals are adjusted according to CPI inflation.