Tory donations top £570,000 in first week of election campaign - down from £5.7m in 2019

The Conservatives have raised just 10% of the donations they managed to collect in 2019 under Boris Johnson in the first week of the election campaign.

Electoral Commission data released today shows the Tories raised £574,918 in the period 30 May to 5 June, compared with the £5.7m they received from 6-12 November five years ago.

The figures show political parties reported £3.2m in donations in the first week of the election campaign.

Mr Sunak's party raised £574,918 through donations alone, on top of £22,453 that came from public funds.

Meanwhile, Labour generated £926,908 from donations alone and £652,411 from the public funds that are given to opposition parties with more than two MPs.

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They show a complete turnaround in Labour's fortunes from the 2019 election, when the party raised just £218,500 in the first week of that campaign.

This time round, the single biggest donation given to Labour totalled £500,000 from film company Toledo Productions.

The slump in donations will come as an additional blow to Rishi Sunak, after his party was overtaken by Nigel Farage's Reform UK in a single poll by YouGov.

Mr Sunak batted away Mr Farage's assertion that his party now represents the opposition to Labour after the poll put Reform on 19% of the vote and the Conservatives on just 18%.

The Electoral Commission figures showed that Reform received £140,000 in donations, while the Liberal Democrats declared £454,999, the SNP £127,998 and the Co-operative Party £120,000.

Plaid Cymru did not declare any donations but it did receive £33,194 in public funds.

The Social Democrat Party and the Climate Party both also declared £25,000 each but did not receive any public funds.

Louise Edwards, director of regulation and digital transformation, said: "This is the first of the pre-poll weekly reports, which we publish in the lead up to the general election.

"We know that voters are interested in where parties get their money from, and these publications are an important part of delivering transparency for voters.

"While there is no limit to what parties can raise, there are spending limits in place ahead of elections to ensure a level playing field."

The figures published by the commission, which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK, do not represent all donations because only those over £11,500 have to be declared.

In 2019, the threshold was lower, at £7,500.

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The donations received by Mr Sunak are a far cry from the vast donations Mr Johnson received from big business and wealthy donors in the run-up to the 2019 election, which he ran on the platform to "get Brexit done".

The single largest donation to the Conservatives in the first week of the 2019 election campaign was the £1m it received from theatre entrepreneur John Gore.

By contrast, the value of the single largest donation for the Tories over the same period this year was £75,000 and came from the entrepreneur Bassim Haidar.

Today a number of Conservative candidates reposted videos in which Mr Johnson appealed to local voters to support the party on polling day on 4 July.

The most recent YouGov poll put Labour out in front on 37% of the vote, followed by Reform UK on 19% and the Conservatives on 18%.

The Lib Dems polled 14% of the vote, followed by the Greens on 7% and the SNP on 3%.

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Responding to the poll, Mr Sunak said a vote for Reform would "give a blank cheque to Labour".

Speaking to journalists at the G7 summit in Italy, the prime minister said: "We are only halfway through this election, so I'm still fighting very hard for every vote.

"And what that poll shows is - the only poll that matters is the one on 4 July - but if that poll was replicated on 4 July, it would be handing Labour a blank cheque to tax everyone, tax their home, their pension, their car, their family, and I'll be fighting very hard to make sure that doesn't happen."

Sky News has contacted the Conservatives for comment.