Labour asks supporters for cash every three days as online donations tumble

Keir Starmer and Feargal Sharkey

Labour has been ramping up its fundraising efforts ahead of the local elections and the next general election, warning visitors to the party’s website that it is “seriously behind” the Conservatives in the amount of revenue raised.

At least some supporters have received 27 fundraising emails from the national party in the last three months, with four sent out in the first nine days of April alone, LabourList analysis shows. That equates to almost one every three days.

Labour Party website fundraising pop-up.

Visitors to the party’s website had recently been receiving a pop-up warning them that “money matters in elections and we’re seriously behind”. The text of the pop-up continued: “Outspending us is how the Tories win elections. We have to close the gap and you can help”.

It appeared alongside links to donate £10, £20, £50, £100 or another amount and a bar chart highlighting that Labour raised £31m in donations in 2023 compared to the Tories’ £48m.

A second pop-up, seen on the website today, highlights Labour’s recently announced plan for a crackdown on “tax dodgers”, alongside links to donate the same sums.

Members also received an email from the party on Saturday stating that “we need your support before the week finishes”, telling recipients that the party’s online donations have “slowed significantly towards the end of March” and “it doesn’t look like they’re picking back up”.

The email continued: “We get it, it’s easy to look at the polls and think that it’s job done. But here in HQ, we know that couldn’t be further from the truth. We’ve fought enough elections to know that when the Tories turn on the money tap, that spells defeat for Labour.”

The email urged recipients to consider making a donation “so that when the general election comes, we’re not under-resourced”,  alongside links to donate £3, £5, £10 or another amount.

A second fundraising pop-up on the Labour Party website.

It said: “We’re already on the backfoot when it comes to donations, so we absolutely cannot afford to let the situation get worse. The Tories will call an election this year. They’re scared of losing, so they will spend more money than they ever have to beat us.

“We need supporters like you to help us prepare for whatever the Tories throw our way next year. It will be the most expensive general election ever fought, and we can expect them to fling everything and the kitchen sink at us.”

The mailing was followed up on Sunday with another fundraising email saying “thousands of people across Britain” had chipped into the party’s election fund and urging recipients to join them in making a donation.

It added: “With Labour you’ll get a government that respects you and works hard to serve you. Supporters like you really are our best chance of making this happen. We’re urging you to join the others and invest in the future by contributing to our general election fund today.”

One supporter told LabourList: After giving early on, I am getting increasingly irritated by these emails and would like to know how their effect is being monitored – maybe the trickle of positive responses does outweigh negative reaction, but  Idon’t like the tone taken. Scaremongering doesn’t work!”

Recent figures from the Electoral Commission revealed that Labour received nearly £13m in individual donations in 2023, which is understood to be the party’s best performing year ever for that type of donation.

Commenting on the figures at the time of their release, Labour Party chair Anneliese Dodds said: “Thanks to Keir Starmer’s leadership, last year was our best fundraising year ever. Labour will turn the page on 14 years of Tory failure with a plan to deliver the change Britain deserves.”

Labour was approached for comment.

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