Home > Uncategorized > Donations to parties published for second quarter of 2010

Donations to parties published for second quarter of 2010

The Electoral Commission has just published the stats on donations to political parties in the second quarter of 2010. A quick glance at the stats shows that Labour depended on a greater proportion of very large donations in that period. It received 9 donations of more than 250k (totalling 7 million pounds). By contrast the Conservative Party received 7 donations of more than 250k, but these in total came to just over 2.7 million pounds. Unsurprisingly, the reason is that Labour got some million pound plus donations from unions and a few wealthy individuals.

The Conservatives received 15 donations bewteen 100-250k (totalling 2.3 million pounds), while Labour received 6 donations in the same range totalling just over 1 million pounds. Of donations between 50-75k, Labour received 2 totalling 122k and the Conservatives received 15 totalling 931k. Of donations between 25-50k, the Conservatives received 55 donations totalling 2.48 million pounds, while Labour received 10 donations totalling 355k pounds.

Of the smallest bracket of donations, totalling 7.5-25k, the Conservatives received 529 donations totalling 3.5 million pounds. Labour received 491 donations totalling 1.78 million pounds.

A major caveat to all this: these numbers do not aggregate separate donations from the same source (either given in the same quarter or over the whole year). This means the numbers may hide some more large donors. This (very) rough glance at the numbers shows how both parties rely on high value donors, but suggests that the Conservatives´donation income is spread more across donors in the various brackets. This goes to show why in the discussions of party funding, trade union donations is such a high stakes issue. It also suggests that the Conservatives seem to be more successful in securing a wider range of donations that are large (ie beyond the reach of most people), but not over the million or half million mark. So probably not a surprise that the Conservatives may have a wider range of supporters that can give 50k, 25k or a thousand pounds. This does have implications if a cap on donations is fixed at 100k, 25k or 10k. It could potentially cut off the institutional support to Labour, while giving an advantage to the  party that can attract the widest range of rich (but not necessarily super-rich) supporters.

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