The funding of political parties and Parliamentarians are hot topics at the moment, and we decided to test the water in our monthly survey by suggesting some options. Findings for party member respondents were as follows:
- 73 per cent backed an opt-in requirement on donations from trade union members. No surprise there: indeed, if there is one, it’s only that this finding wasn’t even higher.
- 38 per cent supported a £50,000 cap on donations to political parties. This site supports a voluntary limit of roughly that figure.
- 25 per cent lined up behind a cap on state funding for political parties. I’m surprised this total wasn’t much higher: the explanation may be that the question wasn’t clear enough.
- 23 per cent favoured a ban on private loans to political parties. So almost a quarter of these respondents favour state action in this context to restrict the actions of private individuals.
- 12 per cent gave the thumbs-up to none of these options, and 3 per cent didn’t have a view on any of them.
We would have got more information had we asked respondents to give a Yes/No/Don’t Know reply to each question. So, for example, we would have a finding for those who don’t support a £50,000 donation cap. I regret not doing so.
However, only 18 of the 750 or so respondents skipped the question, so there was evidently a lot of reader interest in it.
And the responses do tell us something – namely, that there is strong minority support among party members for curbs on the funds that political parties raise from private individuals. One of the many questions that follows is: how would the Conservatives manage such a change?
A footnote: only eight respondents didn’t have a view about the Black and White Ball. 22 per cent want to scrap it, 61 per cent to keep it, and the rest don’t know. David Sullivan is safe for another year.
Most Party members clearly aren’t all that bothered about the bad publicity. Among non-party member respondents, by the way, it’s 30 per cent for scrapping it and 56 per cent for keeping it. The findings for the other questions are very much in line with those of the Party member respondents.
The survey is tested against a control panel that was originally supplied by YouGov. Almost 1500 readers replied to the survey overall.