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Party Accounts Show Labour Out-Earning Tories

Labour managed to raise more money in 2022 compared to 2021, while the Conservatives raised less (Alamy)

3 min read

The Labour Party has continued to raise more money than the Conservative Party, according to the most recent political party accounts released by independent watchdog the Electoral Commission.

The 2022 accounts showing the annual income and expenditure of the major political parties have been published by the Electoral Commission, the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK.

The figures show Labour is still out-earning the Conservatives, with an income of £47,171,000 compared to the Conservatives' income of £30,682,000. In 2021, Labour received an income of £45,564,000 compared to the Tories who raised £31,744,000.

Labour saw an increase in income from 2021 to 2022, while the Conservatives raised less money in 2022 compared to 2021. In 2022 the Conservatives spent more than they earned while Labour managed a surplus.

The major nationalist parties in Scotland, Wales, and NI all saw a fall in income between 2021 and 2022, with the Scottish National Party (SNP) raising £4,248,625 in 2022 compared to £4,510,460 in 2021.

Labour politicians have viewed these figures as positive news for the party ahead of a general election, which is expected to take place next year.

“Thanks to Keir Starmer’s leadership, the Labour Party saw significant financial growth throughout 2022, and our finances have gone from strength to strength this year as we set out our five missions to transform Britain," a Labour spokesperson said. 

"The Labour Party is a changed party that is serious about getting into government and building a better Britain.”

A shadow minister told PoliticsHome it was "definitely a good sign" that the Labour Party is "not taking anything for granted".

"It shows that the Party are being taken seriously by investors and philanthropists," they said. 

"I think it highlights the work Keir has done in terms of making the party electable and that people are able to trust us to form a Government.

"I also think it shows how serious we are and how we’re not taking anything for granted. Elections cost money and we know that this is going to be a tightly fought contest. 

"We need to be strategic with the campaign and work as hard as possible to earn every vote!"

One Labour backbench MP told PoliticsHome: "It feels like we are motoring and the engine is in fine fettle."

However, the Conservatives raised more than double the amount Labour has in the first quarter of this year.

“2023 fundraising has been extremely strong with the Party raising £12 million in the first three months of the year, the highest ever first quarter for the Party outside of an election year," a Conservative spokesperson said.

Labour raised £5,893,841 over the same period of January to March 2023.

The Electoral Commission publishes the parties' accounts every year to ensure there is transparency around the money each party receives and spends.

Louise Edwards, Director of Regulation at the Electoral Commission, said: “We are committed to making sure political funding is transparent. Larger parties spend and receive considerable sums of money so it’s important that information on their finances is accessible to the public.

"Publishing their accounts allows voters to see how parties are funded and choose to spend their money.”

The Electoral Commission noted that the Reclaim Party, led by right-wing commentator Laurence Fox, had had to apply for an extension to allow time to deliver its accounts. Its original submission was incomplete because it failed to include an auditor’s report alongside its statement of accounts, which is required by law.

Income and expenditure of UK major parties (Electoral Commission 2023)

Political parties

2021 income

2021 expenditure 2022 income 2022 expenditure

Conservative and Unionist Party

£31,744,000

£31,425,000

£30,682,000

£33,062,000

Green Party

£3,086,556

£3,072,845

£3,146,966

£3,226,391

Labour Party

£45,564,000

£50,769,000

£47,171,000

£44,450,000

Liberal Democrats

£5,733,339

£6,659,541

£5,945,228

£6,699,016

Plaid Cymru

£985,686

£1,109,860

£970,293

£942,273

Scottish National Party

£4,510,460

£5,262,032

£4,248,625

£5,052,903

Sinn Féin £1,532,946 £1,264,562 £1,186,378 £1,533,335

Read the full list of accounts by the Electoral Commission here.

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