Lib Dem donation figures in full (Quarter 1, 2012)

The Electoral Commission has recently published the latest donation and borrowing figures for the political parties, showing that the Lib Dems raised £606,724 between January and March this year.

(At the foot of this post is the full breakdown of donations (excluding public funds) received by quarter since 2005, and annually between 2001 and 2004. I’ve uploaded a public Google spreadsheet of all Lib Dem donations between 2001 and 2011 available here; and a separate one for the first quarter of 2012 available here.)

By comparison, the party raised £698,875 in the first quarter of 2007 (the equivalent stage of the parliamentary cycle). This is now the second consecutive quarter that the figure for donations received have been lower now than in the past. However, the direct Q1 comparison of donations received obscures the overall heavy loss of revenue the party has sustained since then, down by 40%, as a result of the loss of public ‘Short’ money when the Lib Dems entered government:

  • In Q1 2007, the Lib Dems raised £698,875 and received a further £522,471.73 of public ‘Short’ money, a total of £1,221,347;
  • In Q1 2012, the Lib Dems raised £606,724 and received a further £125,822.36 of public ‘Short’ money, a total of £732,546.68.

Here’s the breakdown of all donations (excluding public funds) by source:

    Company (16 gifts) = £170,305.88
    Individual (31) = £351,099.26
    Other (2) = £125,822.36
    Trust (3) = £22,000.00
    Unincorporated Association (25) = £63,319.18

Five/six-figure donations coming from the following: Lord Loomba (£150,000); Ministry of Sound Ltd (£97,378); Lord Alliance (£25,000); Mr Brian Roper (£25,000); Mrs Margaret Roper (£25,000); Mr Anthony Wilkinson (£25,000); KPMG (£22,000); Romiley Liberal Club & Hall Co Ltd (£15,000); PricewaterhouseCoopers (14,534); Mr Derek J Webb (£12,500); Ms Hannah O’Donnell (£12,500); Mr J Donald Hanson (£10,000); Mr Richard Duncalf (£10,000); Heaton Moor Reform Club (£10,000); Sir Arthur Rowbotham (£10,000).

Our figures are of course dwarfed by the Tories and Labour fundraising among their friends in big business and the trade unions. Labour raised FOUR TIMES MORE than the Lib Dems’ total donations from trade unions alone — £2.56m in the first quarter of this year. In stark contrast, Labour raised just £418k from only 19 individuals, only slightly more than the Lib Dems achieved in the same period. The Conservatives, meanwhile, were more successful in raising money from individuals (£2.46m) — including the single largest gift from an individual (£215k), one Peter Cruddas — but were also very heavily reliant on their friends in big business, receiving some £1.39m from corporate gifts.

In terms of outstanding loans, however, the Lib Dems are in a much healthier position. The party has £397,270 registered with the Electoral Commission, compared with £2.7m for the Tories, and a stonking £9.9m of loans helping keep Labour afloat.

Not susprisingly, this is a tricky time for the Lib Dems, in government for the first time in 80 years, and having to fight opponents with deep-pocketed friends and a hostile media. So if you are in a position to help the Liberal Democrats fight on a level-playing field, there has never been a more important time to do so. You can donate to the national party using this secure link.

Here are a few of the ways in which your gift can make a difference to the party’s campaigning in the months ahead:

    * £10 will pay for a Focus newsletter for 500 houses
    * £25 will buy 2,000 tabloid-style newspapers
    * £50 pays for a dozen super-size election garden posters
    * £100 will cover a Focus leaflet for a whole ward
    * £250 will pay for 10,000 addressed letters to be delivered by volunteers

Here are the full Lib Dem donation figures, 2001-12 (excl. public funds):

2012, Q1 = £606,724
2012 (to date) = £606,724

2011, Q1 = £847,373
2011, Q2 = £1,014,434
2011, Q3 = £1,193,474
2011, Q4 = £1,076,469
2011 = £4,131,750

2010, Q1 = £1,958,446
2010, Q2 = £2,140,933
2010, Q3 = £371,861
2010, Q4 = £536,043
2010 = £5,007,284

2009, Q1 = £842,276
2009, Q2 = £1,231,686
2009, Q3 = £881,406
2009, Q4 = £1,173,000
2009 = £4,128,589

2008, Q1 = £477,416
2008, Q2 = £987,993
2008, Q3 = £611,521
2008, Q4 = £995,288
2008 = £3,072,217

2007, Q1 = £698,875
2007, Q2 = £758,473
2007, Q3 = £841,742
2007, Q4 = £994,687
2007 = £3,293,778

2006, Q1 = £260,354
2006, Q2 = £333,533
2006, Q3 = £648,515
2006, Q4 = £1,724,842
2006 = £2,967,244

2005, Q1 = £3,746,093
2005, Q2 = £837,931
2005, Q3 = £200,923
2005, Q4 = £407,156
2005 = £5,192,103

2004 = £2,569,961

2003 = £1,492,365

2002 = £714,530

2001 = £1,173,163

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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  • Party conference in Gateshead just gone was presented with a draft budget for 2012 . In that draft budget the figure for fundraising income for 2012 was around £400k up on the figure in the draft budget presented to Autumn confernce (when differences in reporting are taken into account).

    I questioned the Party treasurer about this and was told that cash donations to the Federal party for 2011 were around £1.1 million. So we have a budget which is requiring around £700,000 more Federal Party fundraising in 2012 than we had in 2011.

    Without that £400,000 the party would have been presented with a defecit budget rather than a surplus budget.

    The Treasurer is on record (in response to questions I asked him that (a) his budget was sustainable and when asked what contingency plans there were replied:
    “The Party has continued to invest in its fundraising operation and has a diversified range of income generating strategies, with built-in short, medium and long term initiatives. In addition, it is generating income from a far greater number of donors than ever before. Both the diverse range of activities and increase in donor numbers are designed to mitigate reliance on any one income source.”

    Given that total declared donations are around 25% down on the equivalent period 12 months ago I’ve moved from thinking the party budget was optimistic to being worried!

  • Tony Dawson 10th Jun '12 - 6:45pm

    Hmm. Where is it best to wash our financial linen?

  • Tony – the donation record, the party accounts, draft budgets and questions to the party treasurer are all already in the public domain.

  • Aye, Hywel, but I just do not see the wisdom (or indeed any advantage) in deciding to set off a public discussion about them which is bound to include matters which are no business of anyone except party members. Such a posting (the original, not yours,) is almost calculated to bring outside attention to Lib Dem comments about this situation which may range from the adulatory to the damning but have one thing in common. They are of potential value to others who love us not. It seems a totally narcissistic thing to do. This site has a Lib Dem members’ section. Why do the authors not use it?

  • Peter Andrews 11th Jun '12 - 12:32pm

    Tony. LDV has published these figures for years. I would think the lack of publishing them for any reason would raise far more comments and concern than publishing them would.

  • Tony Dawson 11th Jun '12 - 5:52pm

    @Peter Andrews:

    “LDV has published these figures for years. I would think the lack of publishing them for any reason would raise far more comments and concern than publishing them would.”

    Come ON, Peter. Nobody of any import cares at all what LDV does or does not publish. No one is sitting there asking themselves “Why hasn’t LDV published this or that this week/month/year?”. I have no problem with publication of the stats themselves (see Q1 2005) 🙁 ) The only danger is the article itself written in a way likely to spark potential for Lib Dem comments which might have content to help opposition propaganda.

    It would be both helpful AND useful to pitch these discussions in the Members’ Forum. Why do the authors not use that part of the site as it should be use? They might, thereby, get more Party members into it.

  • Stephen there is no Short Money when a party is in Government, You have presumably mis-classified the Policy Development Fund money from the Electoral Commission.

    @Hywel – Just because the amount of money coming in in Quarter one is down does not mean that the overall total will not be met it is entirely possible that one of the future three quarters may over perform. ( And before you ask I do know an amount I am referring to but do not yet know which quarter it will arrive in.)

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