Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
McMenamin I.
Political Studies
Party Identification, the Policy Space and Business Donations to Political Parties
Optional Fields
Brexit business and politics Conservative Party policy space political finance political parties
© The Author(s) 2019. Political finance scholars have paid little attention to the partisan preferences of business donors. This was because business donors were overwhelmingly concerned with the left-right dimension and enjoyed stable relationships with centre-right parties. These parties are increasingly tempted by economic nationalism. This new ideological flux provides an opportunity to measure the extent to which donors are party identifiers or react to changes in the policy space. Dramatic shifts in party policy on both the left-right and globalisation dimensions and a relatively transparent political finance regime make the United Kingdom a particularly apposite case to study this question. I analyse 19,000 donations to the Conservative Party and show that business donors reacted strongly to recent shifts on both the left-right and globalisation dimensions. Thus, centre-right parties may not be able to rely on party identification and their left-right position to maintain business funding. Economic nationalism is likely to cost centre-right parties money.
Grant Details