2017 campaign will be party’s most frugal in years, with insiders predicting only £7m will be raised.
Labour is expecting to spend less than half as much as the Tories on the general election campaign amid a drive for money donations from its 500,000 members.
Insiders said Labour had already raised around £3.8m for a possible poll when Theresa May announced a snap election two weeks ago. The party added that it had since received £1m in small donations.
Fundraising efforts will continue among union backers and its members. Officials hope this will bring at least another £3m. But private donations from wealthy figures have failed to materialise, Labour insiders said.
The Conservatives consistently spend close to the £19m general election spending limit, and are currently in the middle of a spending drive among their wealthy donors.
One Labour insider said their party would probably raise £7m in total, £5m less than in the 2015 general election under Ed Miliband.
“We are going to be outspent. Even if we had got to 2020, we would have been outspent. It is a reality of life now that the Tories can raise much more money at short notice for a short campaign,” a source said.
The difference in spending may not necessarily work against the party, Labour officials insist, because Jeremy Corbyn is happy to portray himself as the down-to-earth leader against the slick Tory party machine.
“Jeremy is going to be more comfortable in a town hall and a second class seat rather than in a hotel room or a helicopter,” the source said.
Whether for branding or financial reasons, Labour’s party political broadcasts will have production values far removed from the mini-movies it used to portray Neil Kinnock, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.