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Political parties' latest donations and borrowing figures published

Published: 20 Feb 2013

Eleven political parties registered in Great Britain reported accepting a total of almost £7.3 million in donations between 1 October and 31 December 2012, according to new figures published by the Electoral Commission, the independent party funding watchdog.

The three political parties to accept the most in donations were:

  • Conservative and Unionist Party - £3,309,109
  • Labour Party - £2,592,885
  • Liberal Democrats - £570,959

In addition to these donations, during the fourth quarter of 2012, six parties accepted funding totalling just over £2.4 million from public funds.

Figures for 2012 as a whole show that:

  • Political parties accepted £31,099,821 in donations. This is almost £3.7 million less than for 2011 (£34,792,370).
  • Political parties accepted £8,800,688 in public funds. This is almost £320,000 less than for 2011 (£9,120,204).
  • The total amount of outstanding loans to political parties as at 31 December 2012 was £14,300,488. This is almost £440,000 less than the total outstanding as at 31 December 2011 (£14,739,431).

This quarter is the first time all political parties required to submit quarterly reports have done so on time.

A summary of donations reported in the fourth quarter of 2012, including top donors, and the amount political parties accepted in donations in 2012 compared to 2011 is available at: www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/153982/Summary-of-Q4-2012-donations-and-loans.pdf

Full details of donations and loans are available on our registers at: https://pefonline.electoralcommission.org.uk/search/searchintro.aspx


For further information contact:
Karim Aziz in the Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704 or kaziz@electoralcommission.org.uk
Out of office hours 07789 920 414

Notes to editor

  1. The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. Our aim is integrity and public confidence in the UK’s democratic process. We regulate party and election finance and set standards for well-run elections and are responsible for the conduct and regulations of referendums held under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (2000).
  2. The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) requires GB and NI registered parties to report cash and non-cash donations and borrowing on a quarterly basis to the Electoral Commission. Political parties must report all donations and borrowing over £7,500 to the central party, or over £1,500 to an accounting unit, to the Electoral Commission. This includes aggregates of donations and loans from the same source.
    As the parties only report donations and loans over these thresholds, the figures do not include all donations and loans to political parties. Donations and loans under these thresholds are recorded in political parties’ annual Statement of Accounts. To view these accounts, visit our register.
  3. Public funds are donations from the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Scottish Parliament and the Electoral Commission. ‘Short’ and ‘Cranborne’ grants are available to parties in opposition in the House of Commons or House of Lords respectively.
    Some donations appear on the register as being from the Electoral Commission. These are Policy Development Grants, which were established by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 for parties represented in the Commons by two or more sitting members. The grants are intended to assist parties in developing the policies that they will present in an election manifesto. The legislation provides the total sum of £2 million annually for this purpose. Policy Development Grants became reportable as donations for the first time in quarter three of 2006 as a result of the Electoral Administration Act 2006.
  4. There are currently 330 registered political parties in Great Britain. Fifty three were required to submit their quarterly donation and 51 to submit borrowing information within the deadline. The remaining political parties were exempt because they have previously submitted four consecutive nil returns.
  5. The figures reported for quarterly donations and borrowing have been rounded to the nearest £. Exact figures are available on our website.