How the central finances of parties have been panning out

The following three graphs are from the Electoral Commission and show income and expenditure for the three main political parties as reflected in their annual accounts. There are some important exceptions to what they show, such as the money brought in and spent directly by election candidates, though from what I know of these exceptions they paint a similar picture to those annual accounts of the relative trends over time.

As Stephen has often noted on this site when reporting on the quarterly donation figures, the Liberal Democrat figures show a consistently higher level of income in this Parliament than in previous ones. The net assets figures also show how the Liberal Democrats have been consistently in the black, unlike either of the other two main parties.

Note: the graphs have different scales

Liberal Democrat accounts

Conservative Party accounts

Labour Party accounts

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  • It is interesting to note the difference in scale between Lib Dem funds and the other two. Labour’s debts are in a bad way. At least we are in the black.

  • Looks like Labour run their own affairs like they ran the country.

  • One thing that puzzles me is that a year ago Labour had debts of nearly £17 Million & still increasing while in recent months they have been claiming it was “only” £10Million. Do you have an explanation, surely they wouldnt just lie when the truth will come out anyway ?

  • I’m not an expert, but I wonder if the party’s treasurers are reluctant to run a huge deficit in case they are held personally liable? We are a much smaller party, hence there is may be a perceived greater likelihood of financial disaster.
    The above comment about Labour running the party like they ran the nation is trite. A nation is not like a political party (nor a household, for that matter) – there is no responsibility for a party to ameliorate national recession by deficit spending and tax reductions.

  • paul barker 11th Aug '10 - 9:03pm

    Terry, on your 1st point, Labour & tories have always assumed that the Big Unions/Business will always bail them out, however much they mess up.
    On the 2nd, the thing that running the Government has in common with running a Party is that both involve spending other peoples money. If you are careless with your fellow members donations what does that say about your values ?

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