Yesterday the electoral commission revealed the figures for donations to political parties since the May elections and I think they're quite interesting.
The first thing I noticed is that the Labour Party received less individual donations than the Liberal Democrats. I'll say that again, the Labour Party received 185,275 pounds from individuals this last quarter compared to the 210,276 pounds that was donated to the Liberal Democrats, which also came from more individuals.
Of course, Labour's total donations are far, far higher. Of its 2.3 million income, 1.9 million of it came from the trade unions, and almost 1.8 million of that came from four specific unions - Unite, Unison, USDAW and the CWU in that order.
Half of all donations to political parties in the UK went to the Conservative Party, whilst 60% of state funds for 'policy development' went to the Liberal Democrats. That's 352,459 pounds going to the Lib Dem coffers from the state, a funding source that is due to dry up as they are now in government.
Obviously the donations have all gone down since the election, this quarter is, well, a quarter of the previous one which led up to the election. However, the change in proportion of donations (including unions and companies, not including state funding) is interesting.
|Second Quarter||Third Quarter |
Extraordinary that UKIP has seen such a surge in donations and is, I think, the only major party to increase the number of donations received from second to third quarter. For them to over take the Lib Dems is quite frightening. Coupled with the level of donations for the Tories both Labour and the Lib Dems are seeing their donations decline.
This may not be a long term trend but worth looking at none the less. I was particularly surprised at how little funding (proportionally) Labour actually get from their members. It's kind of a reverse Obama fund raising strategy, just concentrate on big players and don't rely on the small fry.