Tory fundraising goes into overdrive as cash dries up

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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high