The Labour Party received nearly $500,000 in donations of more than $10,000 in 2008 – significantly more than National, which declared a total of about $207,000. This is according to the figures just made public by the Electoral Comission (available here), and dealt with by an article in the Herald today (see: Artists feature in Labour's $500,000 list of election donations). It seems therefore that despite the common myth of the Labour Party being financially poor and the National Party being the party of big wealth, Labour is still just as much a big money party as National. After all Labour has been the biggest spending party for the last few general elections. And if you add up all the declared donations made to the Electoral Commission since it was made mandatory in 2006, you’ll find that Labour and National have received virtually the same amounts. My quick calculations (which I’ll check and update at some stage) show that over the 1996 to 2008 period, Labour has declared donations of about $5,321,000 and National has declared about 5,484,000.