SNP spent more than they raised last year, new figures show

The Scottish National Party (SNP) spent £318,000 more last year than it managed to raise, according to the Electoral Commission.

The party spent £5.6 million in total in 2019 - including an estimated £1.4 million on the December General Election - but only managed to take in £5.29 million.

The UK Conservative Party, meanwhile, managed to raise a hefty £68 million over the same period - the highest of any party - forking out just £55 million in comparison.

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UK Labour raised less than their Conservative rivals (£57.3 million) but outspent them overall (£57.2 million).

Despite the higher expenditure, Labour won just 201 seats in last year’s election compared to the Conservatives’ 365.

The SNP came third overall, gaining 13 seats to bring their total to 48.

A spokesperson for the party said:“The SNP rely on the commitment and generosity of our supporters to keep us campaigning.

“We have huge underlying financial strength, thanks to our mass membership. Last year we were able to allocate £1.4 million at short notice to contest unplanned elections.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hugs SNP candidate Amy Callaghan as she joins SNP's newly elected MPs for a group photo call outside the V&A Museum in Dundee in 2019.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hugs SNP candidate Amy Callaghan as she joins SNP's newly elected MPs for a group photo call outside the V&A Museum in Dundee in 2019.

“This included a General Election where the SNP won a landslide in Scotland, our best European election result ever, plus the parliamentary by-election in Shetland.

“We are immensely grateful to all our members and supporters who made those achievements possible in 2019.”

The SNP was one of only a handful of major parties to spend more than it raised in 2019, along with Plaid Cymru, UKIP and the Brexit Party.

The Brexit Party spent £1.6 million more than it raised last year - despite only being founded in November 2018.

The total 2019 spend of Nigel Farage’s new party (£18.9 million) dwarfed that of his former party, UKIP, which raised just £1.1 million, and spent £1.6 million.

Louise Edwards, Director of Regulation, said: “All political parties must keep financial records and submit annual statements of accounts to us.

“Publishing this data helps voters see political parties’ income and what they’re spending,” she added.

“This is an important part of delivering transparency in political finance in the UK, and in enhancing public confidence and trust in our democratic processes.”

A full breakdown of UK political parties’ income and expenditure can be found here.

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