Tories funded by big donations from the (very, very rich) few, Labour funded by the (very, very much poorer) many!
“Labour generated 10 times more in party membership fees than the Tories in 2016
Labour received ten times more than the Tories in party membership fees in 2016 as the scale of the difference between the number of rank and file supporters for each was laid bare.
The Conservatives generated £1.5 million in membership fees last year while Labour coffers were boosted to the tune of £14.4 million, according to new figures published by the Electoral Commission.
Meanwhile, the Tories brought in £800,000 through membership in 2015 while the Labour figure was £9.5 million.
The size of the membership money gap between the two parties is likely to reignite speculation about the current size of the Tory party membership after previous claims that it may have dipped below 100,000.
Membership figures for the Conservatives have not been made available since 2013 when the party had about 150,000 paid up supporters.
That figure represented a sizeable reduction on the size of the membership during the 2005 leadership contest when it stood at a reported 253,000.
In stark contrast the most recent estimate of Labour Party membership from March of this year was 517,000.
The cost of standard membership of the Conservative Party costs £25 and £48 for Labour but both parties offer other, less costly membership packages for certain groups of people like young people and armed forces personnel.
The Conservative Party declined to comment on the current size of its membership.
A Labour Party spokeswoman said: “Labour is a mass membership party, proud to be funded by our members and working people.
“It is this broad funding base that makes us the party of ordinary working people, while the Tories increasingly rely on a small pool of super-rich donors.”
While Labour enjoys a huge financial advantage over the Tories on the issue of membership income, it is the Conservatives who are ahead when it comes to donations.
The Tories received almost £19 million in donations in 2016 while Labour received £14.7 million.
In 2015, a general election year, the Tories received about £32 million in donations compared to about £19 million for Labour.
Both Labour and the Tories spent less than what they generated in income in 2016.
Labour’s total income was just shy of £50 million with the party spending about £43 million while the Tories’ total income was just over £28 million with expenditure totalling just under £28 million.
The Liberal Democrats ranked third on the list of party expenditure, spending £7.7 million, followed by the SNP on about £6 million and Ukip with just shy of £3 million.
The SNP spent more than it brought in, recording income of just under £5 million.”