Financial accounts published for UK’s larger political parties

Summary

Financial accounts of political parties and accounting units with income or expenditure of more than £250,000 have been published today by the Electoral Commission. The accounts are for the year ending 31 December 2019.

Louise Edwards, Director of Regulation, said:

“All political parties must keep financial records and submit annual statements of accounts to us. Publishing this data helps voters see political parties’ income and what they’re spending. This is an important part of delivering transparency in political finance in the UK, and in enhancing public confidence and trust in our democratic processes.”

Party income and expenditure

16 parties in the UK reported having an income or expenditure of more than £250,000. In total, these parties reported £185,837,000 of income and £169,103,000 of expenditure. This compares with 15 parties in 2018 reporting £99,608,000 of income and £101,369,000 of expenditure.

PartyIncomeExpenditure
Alliance - Alliance Party of Northern Ireland£388,644£382,221
Co-operative Party£1,252,548£1,224,997
Conservative and Unionist Party£67,995,000£54,908,000
Democratic Unionist Party - D.U.P.£499,957£487,904
Green Party£3,454,562£3,177,323
Labour Party£57,295,000£57,278,000
Liberal Democrats£24,617,940£19,905,925
Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales£888,826£1,023,492
Scottish Green Party£417,945£399,144
Scottish National Party (SNP)£5,290,815£5,609,024
Sinn Féin£2,495,054£1,536,119
The Brexit Party£17,290,036£18,904,591
The Independent Group for Change£1,611,031£1,496,216
UK Independence Party (UKIP)£1,162,622£1,586,620
Ulster Unionist Party£325,900£345,637
Women's Equality Party£851,424£838,131

The full financial accounts for each of the 16 political parties are available on the Commission’s website

Accounting unit income and expenditure

Political parties may register 'accounting units’ with the Electoral Commission. These are constituent or affiliated units of a political party, including constituency parties, which have separate finances from the main party. 

17 accounting units in the UK reported income or expenditure of more than £250,000. In total, these accounting units reported £12,120,000 income and £11,634,000 expenditure.

The ten accounting units that reported the highest income and expenditure above £250,000:

PartyAccounting unitIncomeExpenditure
Conservative and Unionist PartyCities of London & Westminster£541,428£473,765
Conservative and Unionist PartyKensington, Chelsea and Fulham£372,548£348,175
Conservative and Unionist PartyWyre Forest£409,614£49,045
Labour PartyScottish Labour Party£339,722£413,384
Liberal DemocratsALDC£941,624£947,843
Liberal DemocratsEngland£3,915,376£3,791,238
Liberal DemocratsLondon£419,738£370,112
Liberal DemocratsParliamentary Office of the Liberal Democrats£1,288,587£1,310,782
Liberal DemocratsScotland£600,519£647,117
Scottish National Party (SNP)SNP Westminster Parliament Group£1,379,951£1,396,395

The financial accounts for each of these accounting units are available on the Commission’s website.

Comparisons with totals in previous years

Below are the total sums of all financial accounts for political parties and their accounting units above the £250,000 threshold in the two previous financial years: 

Political parties

 201720182019
Income£125,659,000£99,608,000£185,837,000
Expenditure£124,700,000£101,369,000£169,103,000

Accounting units

 201720182019
Income£7,991,000£7,818,000£12,120,000
Expenditure£7,919,000£7,334,000£11,634,000

Late submissions

One political party and two accounting units failed to submit their accounts by the deadline of 7 July 2020. Where parties have delivered late returns for reasons relating to the pandemic, we will take full account of this in considering what, if any, action is appropriate and proportionate. We are satisfied that lockdown restrictions impacting on a party or accounting unit are a reasonable excuse for late delivery.

Ends

For further information please contact the press office on 020 7271 0704 or email press@electoralcommission.org.uk. For outside office hours call 07789 920414.

Notes to editors

Notes to editors:

The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. We work to promote public confidence in the democratic process and ensure its integrity by:

  • enabling the delivery of free and fair elections and referendums, focusing on the needs of electors and addressing the changing environment to ensure every vote remains secure and accessible
  • regulating political finance – taking proactive steps to increase transparency, ensure compliance and pursue breaches
  • using our expertise to make and advocate for changes to our democracy, aiming to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency

The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the UK and Scottish Parliaments.

Political parties with income or expenditure of more than £250,000 are required by law to independently audit their accounts and include this report in their submission. The fact that a Statement of Accounts has been placed on the Commission’s website should not be taken to indicate that the Electoral Commission has verified or validated it.

Figures for income and expenditure have been rounded. Please see our online database for exact amounts.

Financial details of parties and accounting units with an income or expenditure under £250,000 in 2019 were published last month and are available on our website. Accounting units with income and expenditure that are either £25,000 or less are not required to submit their accounts. 

Details of how failures to submit Statement of Accounts by the deadline have been dealt with in the past can be found in our publication of closed cases.