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Money and electoral politicsLocal parties and funding at general elections$
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Ron Johnston and Charles Pattie

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447306320

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447306320.001.0001

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Raising the Money: Donations to Local Parties

Raising the Money: Donations to Local Parties

(p.123) Four Raising the Money: Donations to Local Parties
Money and electoral politics

Ron Johnston

Charles Pattie

Policy Press

Donations are a major source of income for local parties, but the details of who makes these donations remain opaque. The chapter examines local party accounts (where these are available) and information held by the Electoral Commission on individual donations to political parties to gain some insight. However, in the majority of cases the ultimate source of donations to local parties remains unknown. Where evidence is available, it suggests that in many cases parties use local ‘fighting funds’ and similar bodies, associated with the party but technically independent of it, to collect and disburse donations to their constituency organisations, getting around the requirements of the disclosure legislation. Much local donation activity involves shuffling resources from one part of a party’s local organisation to another. Overall, however, the evidence suggests that most local parties’ finances restrict them to a ‘hand-to-mouth’ existence.

Keywords:   Party finance, Income sources, Donors, Fighting funds, Disclosure

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