Donations to Political Parties Analysis: 2nd Quarter, 2012
Author: Jack Maizels
Published on Aug 21, 2012
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 second 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 85%. 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.
In the second quarter of 2012, we saw:
- A decrease in donations to the Conservative Party to £3,785,579.36 down from £4,086,097.19 the previous quarter, though up from the 2 before that
- Conservatives Co-Treasurer Michael Farmer, who was appointed following the resignation of Peter Cruddas, give the Party over £500,000
- Labour Party donations fall to £2,964,471.05 from £3,452,441.05 the previous quarter, though up from £2,315,038 in the last quarter of 2011
- Trade union Unite donate £798,025 to Labour, though the Party’s share of funding from unions dropped to 70% this quarter, down from 84% for 2011
- A slight increase in Liberal Democrats donations to £717,797.26 from £606,724.32 the first quarter of 2012, but still lower than any of the totals for any last 3 quarters of 2011, which were each around the £1m mark
- Brompton Capital Ltd give the Lib Dems £250,000 with Lord Loomba and Ministry of Sound Ltd also contributing to the Party
- The SNP receive just a solitary private donation of £2,500
Data courtesy of the Electoral Commission. Annual donation totals are adjusted according to CPI inflation.