Labour’s success in raising £47m in donations over the past year shows it is “on course” ahead of a general election next year, sources say.
According to figures published today by the Electoral Commission, Sir Keir Starmer’s party has built up a £47m war chest over the last year, trumping the Conservative Party, which saw its donations slip £2.4m to £30m in the last year.
It comes after sustained efforts by Starmer and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves to woo the Square Mile and position themselves as the party of business.
Dubbed the ‘scrambled eggs and smoked salmon offensive’, its been likened to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s ‘prawn cocktail offensive’ of the 1990s, when they aimed to ensure Labour was palatable to big business.
One source indicated to City A.M. that firms were keen to engage with the party ahead of its conference this autumn, suggesting there was a sense of the way the wind was blowing.
The shift comes as membership of the official opposition party dropped by around 25,000, in what has been widely seen as an exodus of the hard-left which thrived in Labour under former leader Jeremy Corbyn and campaign group Momentum.
However, the Labour party still reported a surplus of £2.7m despite the decline in membership fees, a turnaround from 2021 when the party reported a £5.2m loss.
Luke Raikes, research director of the Fabian Society, a campaign organisation which seeks to increase Labour’s broad appeal, said: “Labour is attracting financial support from a wide range of groups, from trade unions to wealthy individuals.
“That shows a broad base of support and is another sign that the party is on course.”
A Labour spokesperson said: “Thanks to Keir Starmer’s leadership, the Labour Party saw significant financial growth throughout 2022, and our finances have gone from strength to strength this year as we set out our five missions to transform Britain.
“The Labour Party is a changed party that is serious about getting into government and building a better Britain.”