Latest political party donations in Northern Ireland published

Facts and figures

Nine political parties registered in Northern Ireland reported a total of £344,278 in donations and public funds between 1 October and 31 December 2018, according to figures published by the Electoral Commission. This was £45,971 less than the previous quarter, between 1 July and 30 September 2018 (£390,249).

The nine political parties to report donations and public funds were:

Party Total donations reported in Q4 (Excluding public funds) Total Public funds reported in Q4 Total donations reported Q4
Alliance - Alliance Party of Northern Ireland £7,500 £18,104 £25,604
Conservative and Unionist Party £7,920 - £7,920
Democratic Unionist Party - D.U.P. - £113,413 £113,413
Green Party - £11,655 £11,655
People Before Profit Alliance £4,000 £6,723 £10,723
SDLP (Social Democratic & Labour Party) - £19,360 £19,360
Sinn Féin £45,349 £80,186 £125,535
Traditional Unionist Voice – TUV - £6,831 £6,831
Ulster Unionist Party - £23,237 £23,237
Total £64,769 £279,509 £344,278

One party – the Veterans and People’s Party - failed to meet the deadline for reporting donations and loans for this quarter. The Commission will consider this matter in line with its Enforcement Policy and publish any sanctions applied at a later date.

Sinn Féin also reported a new credit facility of £300,000

Ann Watt, Head of the Electoral Commission in Northern Ireland, said:

The political party donations and loans data that we have published allows voters to clearly see how parties in Northern Ireland are funded. This transparency helps to enhance public confidence and trust in our democratic process.

Further information

A summary of donations reported by Northern Ireland parties in the fourth quarter of 2018, including the highest donors and details of late reports, is available on the Commission’s website.

We have also published the fourth quarter donations and loans for parties in Great Britain today. A press release is available on our website.

Full details of donations and public funds for political parties in Northern Ireland are available on our registers and full details of donations and public funds for political parties in Great Britain are available on our registers.

The Commission continues to urge the Government to bring forward the necessary legislation to enable them to publish information about political donations and loans in Northern Ireland from January 2014, rather than only from July 2017 as is currently the case.


For more information contact the Electoral Commission press office:

Extra notes

  • 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.

  • The Transparency of Donations and Loans etc. (Northern Ireland Political Parties) Order 2018 allows the Commission to publish information about donations and loans reported by Northern Ireland political parties and other regulated entities from 1 July 2017 onwards.
  • 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. Once the central party has reported a donation or aggregate donation over £7,500 it must report each subsequent donation of more than £1,500 from that 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 Statements of Accounts. To view these accounts, visit our register here.
  • Public funds are donations from the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Northern Ireland Assembly 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 all eligible political parties 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.
  • Figures for income and expenditure have been rounded. Please see online database for exact amounts.
  • The format of this press release has been amended since we published details of donations in quarter 3 2018. It no longer includes a separate column of donations accepted in the quarter. All donations, accepted in quarter 4 or earlier quarters, that were required to be reported in Quarter 4, are included in the relevant reported donations column.