Labour 'struggling to match Tories election spending'

Posted On: 
3rd May 2017

Labour is struggling to match the Tories' general election war chest due to a drop-off in donations from wealthy individuals, according to reports. 

Jeremy Corbyn campaignin south London on Monday

Party sources told the Guardian that Labour had already raised almost £4m before Theresa May's announcement of a snap election, with a further £1m coming in small donations since. 

The party is continuing to raise money through the trade unions and requests for cash from its 500,000 members, but has not seen the sort of donations it might expect from big-name donors.

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The paper reports one insider saying Labour would probably raise just £7m, well short of the £12m the party spent on the short campaign in 2015.

The Conservatives spent £15.6m in the two-week regulated period last time round and are currently wooing wealthy donors to rake in more cash.

“We are going to be outspent. Even if we had got to 2020, we would have been outspent. It is a reality of life now that the Tories can raise much more money at short notice for a short campaign,” one source said.

But the same source said lower spending would fit in with Jeremy Corbyn's image as a down-to-earth campaigner.

“Jeremy is going to be more comfortable in a town hall and a second class seat rather than in a hotel room or a helicopter,” they said.

However the potential disparity in funds with the Tories could mean Labour risk being outgunned in terms of election advertising, with fewer posters and billboards and less to spend on targeted advertising on social media sites.

The Conservatives spent £1.2m on Facebook advertising alone during the 2015 campaign, far more than all the other political parties combined.