Tory fundraising goes into overdrive as cash dries up
Wednesday 21 April 2010
The Conservatives have launched a last-minute fundraising drive to fill a multimillion-pound hole in their election coffers.
New figures published last night showed the Tories raised almost £1.5m in the first week of the campaign – nearly twice the amount banked by Labour. But the Tories admitted they still had not yet been able to accumulate the £18.9m that they are allowed to spend during the campaign under electoral law. Party treasurers are still contacting wealthy supporters in an effort to persuade them to part with more cash.
The shortfall will come as a surprise to senior Conservatives who assumed they would be able to achieve the target well before electioneering began.
A Tory source refused to comment on suggestions that the party still needed to collect £3m from supporters. But he added: "We are continuing to raise money through the campaign, because we have to."
Figures released by the Electoral Commission showed the Conservatives received a total of £1,455,811 in 33 large donations between 6 and 13 April. Labour collected £783,159 in seven donations and the Liberal Democrats just £20,000 from two.
As the figures only cover gifts of more than £7,500, they do not include smaller donations. Last night the Tories said they had raised at least £250,000 online from thousands of supporters since the campaign began, with an average amount of about £50.
Their largest donation over the period was £250,000 from IPGL Ltd, a company controlled by the Tory treasurer, Michael Spencer.
The party was handed £150,000 by the Glasgow-based Juniper Property Finance Company Ltd and £100,000 by the manufacturer Christopher Rea.
Eighty per cent of Labour's donations over the week came from unions, with the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians contributing £371,000 and the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers handing over £266,953.
The businessman Faiz ul Rasool donated £80,000, and Richard Brindle, the head of an insurance group, gave £26,867.
David Blunkett, the former cabinet minister in charge of fundraising for Labour, said: "The support Labour is receiving from ordinary people, many of whom have not been party activists in the past, but are drawn to us now because of the vision we're offering for the future and the threat posed to that by the Tories, is breathtaking."
Labour's figures did not include a donation from Lord Sugar, which was made after the reporting period.
The Liberal Democrats received £10,000 from the businessman Paul Strasburger and £10,000 from Stephen Dawson.
The Conservatives were given the use of a helicopter for the election – listed as worth £8,901.86 – by a supporter named Christopher Meade, as well as helicopter flights worth £8,160 by Eastern Atlantic Helicopters based in West Sussex.
Advertising costs worth £30,000 were donated by M & C Saatchi, who have been brought in to hone the Tory message, while the party's main advertising agency, Euro RSCG, donated costs worth £18,750.
Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission also disclosed that nearly 400,000 voting registration forms were downloaded from its site ahead of last night's deadline to register for a vote. It said 40 per cent of visits to its website had been from young adults aged 18 to 24. Numbers of calls to its helpline doubled after the first televised leaders' debate last Thursday.
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Nick Kyrgios calls former Olympian Dawn Fraser a 'blatant racist' after she tells Wimbledon star to 'go back where their parents came from'
- 3 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis as it happened: EU chiefs at loggerheads hours before Alexis Tsipras’s last ditch deal proposals
Florida teacher sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing three pupils
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...