Last week, the Electoral Commission published the campaign spending returns of political parties and registered non-party campaigners that spent £250,000 or less during the 2019 UK Parliamentary general election. The list of campaigns who spent larger amounts and doners who contributed greater sums will be released at a later date. This is the first round of data to be published by the Electoral Commission on 2019 general election spending, and is part of their statutory reporting.
The Women's Equality Party was the biggest spender of the parties reporting less than £250,000, while 'Working 4 UK Limited' topped the list of those donating less than £250,000. Notable campaign groups in the top ten highest spenders released include The Energy Networks Association Limited, Scientists for EU Ltd, The League Against Cruel Sports, and the Campaign against Corbynismm.
The data covers the regulated period for the 2019 UK Parliamentary general election started on 13 December 2018 and ran until 12 December 2019. This means that the spending returns published today must also include in their total spending that relates to the European Parliamentary Elections that took place in May 2019. As a result, some parties and campaigners that spent under £250,000 at the general election will need to report total spending over £250,000 and therefore the later reporting deadline of 12 June applies.
58 of the political parties that contested the general election reported spending less than £250,000 during the regulated period that ran from 13 December 2018 until polling day, 12 December 2019. Altogether, these parties reported spending £389,623 on campaigning at the election.
Commenting on the returns from political parties and campaigners, Louise Edwards, Director of Regulation, said:
“This is the first publication of spending information relating to last year’s general election, an important part of the transparency which is essential to our democratic process. It is vital that voters are able to see clearly and accurately how money is spent on influencing them at elections.
“For future elections, we have recommended that the law be changed so that parties and campaigners have to provide voters with more detail about how they spend their money at elections. This sits alongside other recommended changes to improve transparency and to address public concerns about who has produced and paid for the political campaign material they see online.”
The ten highest-spending parties that reported spending under £250,000 at the UKPGE 2019
|Women's Equality Party||£102,152|
|Conservative and Unionist Party (NI)||£22,017|
|Alliance Party of Northern Ireland||£21,778|
|SDLP (Social Democratic and Labour Party)||£19,612|
|Democratic Unionist Party - D.U.P.||£16,064|
|The Socialist Party of Great Britain||£8,093|
|The Cynon Valley Party||£6,372|
There are 12 parties which spent £250,000 or less and did not submit returns by the due date.
At the 2019 general election, there were a record 61 registered non-party campaigners. Non-party campaigners that spend over a certain limit are required to register and submit spending and donations reports to us. 34 of these reported spending under £250,000 and their spending returns have been published today. Altogether, these non-party campaigners reported spending £2,357,315.
Non-party campaigners must also report their donations alongside their spending. The donations over £7,500 in relation to non-party campaigners’ political activity have also been published.
The ten highest-spending non-party campaigners who reported spending under £250,000 at the UKPGE 2019:
|Working 4 UK Limited||£189,905|
|Energy Networks Association Limited||£157,016|
|PV Media Hub Limited (campaign name: Vote for a Final Say)||£151,550|
|MTCAE Limited (campaign name: Mainstream - The Campaign Against Extremism)||£134,457|
|Scientists for EU Ltd||£124,340|
|Avaaz Campaigns UK||£122,558|
|Make Votes Matter||£121,799|
|Real Change Lab Limited||£120,488|
|The League Against Cruel Sports||£107,569|
|Campaign Against Corbynism||£106,081|