The Conservative Party have just filed their latest annual accounts, and it’s safe to say that the numbers expose some absolutely horrendous problems for the party as British politics heads into the future.
In 2016 the Tories garnered a respectable £1,459,000 from membership fees. However, in their latest accounts covering from January 2017 to the end of December 2017, this figure plummeted, with the Tories receiving just £835,000 from membership fees.
Based on the Tories’ membership income for 2016, Evolve calculated that the party had in the region of 72,000 members.
However, with the party’s membership income dropping by a staggering 43% in the space of just a year, it can be safely assumed that Tory membership has now dropped below the 50,000 mark, and possibly even below 40,000.
The latest financial figures for Tory membership are made even worse by the fact that the party actually made double the amount of money from dead supporters than living ones. Yes, seriously:
Last year the Conservatives made twice as much money from dead supporters as they did from living members. pic.twitter.com/ztySSDT8CU
— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) August 22, 2018
The Tories’ latest accounts show that the party made £1,697,000 from ‘legacies’ – essentially money which has been left to the party in the wills of party supporters.
Whilst the party’s income from membership plummeted, their income from individual donations soared – jumping from £18,682,000 in 2016 to £34,251,000 in 2017.
However, in comparison to Labour – who receive tens of thousands of small donations from ordinary people – the Tories’ individual donations are almost all from super-rich individuals.
Furthermore, the substantial rise in individual donations to the Conservatives in 2017 can be almost entirely attributed to donations received to bolster their General Election campaign, rather than any apparent increase in support for the party.
All in all, the Tories’ latest accounts indicate a particularly grim future for the party.
With ordinary people leaving the party in droves, and an increasing reliance on donations from super-rich individuals, Tory policy is only going to continue becoming more and more out of touch with the public mood, and even more in favour of the super rich.
If the Tories’ don’t act to rectify this glaringly unsustainable financial model, their days as a mainstream political force are surely numbered.