How political parties are funded

As I’m preparing a race night in Shepherds Bush on Monday for London based friends and supporters for the campaign in Bromsgrove it occurred to me that the few hundred I’ll make will pale in comparison to events the two main parties. Running an election is not cheap as the graphic below shows (but does highlight how efficient the Lib Dems are)

As membership for all parties has fallen money via members has dried up, there is a limit to how many dinners, speeches and auctions the ordinary member can contribute towards so big donations are ever more welcome.  

The Lib Dems do reasonably well, but we don’t have lots of large donors, evident as we have a quarter of the other parties funding in 2005 election. Labour are very reliant on trade union funding, but this was not quite the case during the Blair years. The Tories are still backed by their Michael Ashcroft’s and hedge fund managers.

All of which is fine, if parties are being funded but policies are not being bought/influenced…

Luckily we don’t have the same lobby group impacts as in America where individual politicians themselves can be funded by big tobacco companies or farming unions.

For background, my event on Monday is open to all members of the public and is bringing trade into an otherwise quiet night for the pub (Green Room 45a Goldhawk Road, Shepherds Bush). I’m also grateful for the support of sponsors Patio Polish restaurant, The Ritz Greek restaurant (not the hotel chain!) and Top of the Town Chinese restaurant, who have covered costs and allowed the  money raised to go straight to the campaign.

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