Party spending over £250,000 at the European Parliamentary elections published

Summary

The Electoral Commission has today published the campaign spending returns of political parties that spent over £250,000 during the 2019 European Parliamentary elections.

Eight of the political parties that contested the elections reported spending more than £250,000 during the regulated period that ran from 23 January 2019 until polling day, 23 May 2019. Altogether, these parties reported spending £11,471,082 on campaigning at the election. 

Every political party that contested the European Parliamentary elections is required to submit campaign expenditure returns to the Electoral Commission. Of the eight parties which reported spending more than £250,000, five are being looked at in line with our Enforcement Policy, after submitting spending reports which are missing information that would give voters a complete picture of their campaign spending.

Of those five, and as a result of their incomplete spending returns, investigations have been opened into the Conservative and Unionist Party and the Green Party. Further investigations relating to other returns may follow.

Commenting on the returns from political parties, Louise Edwards, Director of Regulation, said:

“It is vital that voters are given the opportunity to see clearly and accurately how money is spent on influencing them at elections.

“Where parties deliver returns that are not complete, we seek to get correct information before publication. We cannot delay publication for this, though. In five cases on this occasion we have had to publish information that we are not satisfied is completely correct. We are, as usual, considering those cases for further action in line with our Enforcement Policy.”

The eight political parties that reported spending over £250,000:

The eight political parties that reported spending over £250,000: 

Party nameExpenditure
Conservative and Unionist Party£2,600,026
Green Party£450,260
Labour Party£1,556,028
Liberal Democrats£2,468,148
Scottish National Party (SNP)£257,005
The Brexit Party£2,609,834
The Independent Group for Change£886,681
UK Independence Party (UKIP)£643,100

Ends

For more information contact the Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704, out of office hours 07789 920 414 or press@electoralcommission.org.uk

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 that spent over £250,000 at the European Parliamentary elections were required to submit their audited returns by 23 November 2019. 

Figures in this press release are rounded to the nearest £. 

Full breakdown of party expenditure is available.

The spending returns of parties and non-party campaigners that spent £250,000 or less have already been published (Great Britain, Northern Ireland).