Funding local political parties in England and Wales: Donations and constituency campaigns

Ron Johnston*, Charles Pattie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The funding of political parties is an issue of considerable contemporary concern in the UK. Although most attention has been paid to the situation regarding national parties, the new funding regime introduced in 2001 also applies to constituency parties, and some concerns have been raised regarding the limits on spending and expenditure there. Using data released by the Electoral Commission on all donations above a specified minimum to constituency parties, this article looks at the pattern of donations over the period 2001-05. It then analyses the impact of spending on the 2005 constituency campaigns, showing that for the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats substantial donations enhanced their vote-winning performances in seats where their candidates were challengers whereas for Labour substantial donations aided its performance in marginal seats that it was defending.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-395
Number of pages31
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • Campaigns
  • Donations
  • Funding
  • Local parties


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