Facts and figures
Political parties registered in Great Britain and Northern Ireland reported a total of £6.9 million in donations between 1 January and 31 March 2018, according to new figures published today by the Electoral Commission.
In Great Britain, seven political parties reported accepting a total of £6,914,649 in donations in this period. This is £2.4 million less than what was accepted during the same period last year (£9.3 million), and £200,000 more when compared to the last reported quarter in 2017, between 1 October and 31 December (£6.7 million).
The seven political parties to report donations were:
|Party||Donations accepted in quarter 1 2018|
|Conservative and Unionist Party||£4,724,776|
|Women’s Equality Party||£10,000|
In addition to these donations, during the first quarter of 2018 five parties accepted a total of more than £1.7 million from public funds – money and assistance allocated to parliamentary opposition parties to assist with costs.
The value of outstanding loans to political parties in Great Britain as of 31 March 2018 stood at £3.7 million, which is a decrease of £614,707 compared with 31 March 2017 (£3,099,994).
Sixteen parties failed to meet the deadline for reporting for this quarter. The Commission will consider each of these matters in line with its enforcement policy, which is available to view here.
Bob Posner, Director of Political Finance and Regulation & Legal Counsel at the Electoral Commission, said:
This data is hugely important in ensuring that our political finance system is as transparent as possible across the whole of the UK. It’s always disappointing when parties fail to deliver their return on time. Where there is no reasonable explanation for such a failure we will take a robust approach in dealing with this in line with our Enforcement Policy.
Donations reported by Northern Ireland political parties were also published today. Two political parties registered in Northern Ireland reported accepting a total of £6,000 in donations and six political parties registered in Northern Ireland reported accepting a total of £271,039 in public funds between 1 January and 31 March 2018.
A summary of donations reported by GB parties in the first quarter of 2018, including the highest donors, is available on the Commission’s website.
Full details of donations and loans are available on our registers.
Full analysis and breakdown of the figures for quarter one 2018 is available on our website.
For further information please the Electoral Commission press office:
- 020 7271 0704 (Out of office hours: 07789 920 414)
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, focussing 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.
- The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) requires registered parties to report cash and non-cash donations and borrowing to the Electoral Commission on a quarterly basis. Political parties must report all donations and borrowing over £7,500 relating to the central party, or over £1,500 relating to an accounting unit. This includes aggregates of donations and loans from the same source during the calendar year.
- 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 Statements of Accounts.
- 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.
- There were 394 registered political parties in Great Britain during quarter one 2018. 82 were required to submit a quarterly donation report and 76 to submit borrowing information within the deadline. The remaining political parties were exempt (unless they received donations) because they have previously submitted four consecutive nil returns.
- The figures reported for quarterly donations and borrowing have been rounded. The exact figures are available on our website.
- UK wide