By Mike Forster - 14th August 2009
Parliamentary researcher Mike Forster examines the latest Electoral Commission data on political donations and considers what it could mean ahead of the general election.
Prospective parliamentary candidate Philippa Stroud was second in the list of individual political donees in June, according to figures published by the Electoral Commission.
The Conservative candidate for Sutton and Cheam declared £31,500 in cash donations, £22,500 of which was registered late.
Stroud, who is a director of the Centre for Social Justice and tipped to be a senior figure in a future Conservative government, received donations from a range of leading City and business figures.
Top of the list was Conservative MP Chris Grayling, who declared a £40,000 non-cash donation from Denbies Wine Estate.
The indication that Conservatives preparing to fight the next general election are ahead in the fundraising stakes is supported by a broader examination of the donation figures.
Only one Labour MP, David Lammy, received a cash donation compared with two Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne
But six Conservative MPs - including Liam Fox, William Hague and Nick Herbert - were amongst those declaring cash donations in July.
The shadow Treasury team of Greg Hands, David Gauke and Mark Hoban declared over £68,000 between them in non-cash donations from professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
As the election draws closer, we can expect donations to MPs and candidates in marginal seats to increase as campaigns ramp up.
But if the current trend of more financial support going to the Conservatives than the other parties continues, it could have an impact on the election outcome.