Political parties' financing
Updated: 5 November 2020
Next update: 12 August 2021
About the statistics
Income and costs are shown, based on the annual accounts of political parties at municipal, county and central level, including youth organisations at central and county level, which have an obligation to report accounts under the Political Party Act. Approximately 95 per cent of the total income of all parties is covered.
Registered political party
A political party that is registered in the Party register at the Brønnøysund Register Centre according to the regulation in the Party Act, ref. § 3, http://lovdata.no/dokument/NL/lov/2005-06-17-102.
Central government subsidy
Funding according to the Party Act § 11.
Additional funding on a voluntary basis from the county or the municipality.
Other public subsidy
Other public funding not covered by central government subsidy or municipal/county subsidy.
The total income from membership fees.
Income from lotteries, fund-raising events and similar
Income from lotteries, fund-raising events and similar.
Income from interest and stock dividends etc. excluding uncollected gains. Unrealised gains are not to be entered as gains according to the accounting principles of the Political Party Act. Financial assets are to be entered at purchase cost as long as they are not realised.
Income from business activity
Income from own business activity. This includes, among other things, income from the sale of advertisement effects.
Other income from own business
All income not covered by membership fees, income from lotteries, fund-raising events and similar, capital income or income from business activity.
Includes all gifts of money from private donors and all other non-monetary contributions from the same donors when the limit for identifying the contributors is exceeded.
Contributions from commercial enterprises
Includes all gifts of money made by commercial enterprises and all other non-monetary contributions from the same donors when the limit for identifying the contribution.
Name: Political parties' financing
Division for Population Statistics
The reports from the political party units are to be made public individually according to the Political Parties Act § 22. The reports will be published on the website of the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, see www.partifinansiering.no.
The statistics were published for the first time in 2006. This publication is based on registered parties’ reports on their financial situation for the fiscal year 2017. According to the Political Parties Act, all organisational levels of the registered political parties are obliged to report to a central register. The statistics are published on the basis of these reports.
The Political Parties Act was revised on 1 February 2013. For 2013 and previous years, the political parties' organisations should only report on income.
The statistics have a wide spectrum of users and applications, such as the mass media, research institutions, educational establishments, political parties and individuals.
No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.
Statistics on election campaign contribution which is published every second year in connection with elections (https://www.ssb.no/en/valg/statistikker/valgkamp).
Political Parties Act §§ 18, 19, 20, 20a, 20b, 21 and Statistics Act §§ 10
The data collection includes all organisational levels of the registered political parties in Norway, i.e. central, county and municipal level, as well as the central youth levels and the youth organisations at county level. The unit in the statistics is political parties.
According to the Political Parties Act § 18, the party organisations (units) with an income below a certain level excluding government subsidy are exempt from comprehensive reporting. These party units must submit a statement confirming that their income does not exceed the specified level. All other political party organisations have to report the full annual accounts, i.e. incomes, cost and balance sheet. The reports from the organisations exceeding the limit represent the basis for the statistics but for those parties where the number of reporting units is less than three.
The Political Parties Act was revised on 1 February 2013, setting the limit at NOK 12 000 with effect from the fiscal year of 2013. The previous year’s limit was NOK 10 000.
Parties Act. This register is held by Statistics Norway, cf. § 2-1 of the secondary act to the Political Parties Act. The register includes the reports from all registered parties at municipal, county and central Level, including youth organisations at central and county level. The central political parties have to be registered in the Political Party Register as part of the Brønnøysund Register Centre.
The Party Finance Register also contains a summary of all donors that, during the fiscal year, contributed money or gifts exceeding NOK 12 000 to parties at municipal level, NOK 23 000 to parties at county level and NOK 35 000 to parties at central level according to the revised act of 1 February 2013 (the previous levels were NOK 10 000, NOK 20 000 and NOK 30 000 respectively). This also applies to sponsors and creditors. Donors with whom the party organisation has entered into a written political or commercial agreement are to be identified independent of the amount donated.
No additional sources to the Party Finance Register.
The questionnaire is prepared by Statistics Norway. The information is collected electronically through Altinn (the Norwegian public reporting portal) and a specific questionnaire (RA-0604). A few of the units have responded by returning a signed printed version of the Altinn questionnaire that have been handled manually.
The information is published in the same form as it is received by the Party Finance Register. Neither the registrar nor Statistics Norway, as the producer of the statistics, carries out any revisions of the data except for obvious errors in the reported data after consulting the respondent.
The statistical information is a calculation of income and cost summaries from the various organisational levels to the degree that the parties are required to report according to the Political Parties Act.
The statistics do not include internal transfers within the different political parties, neither as income nor as cost, since they balance each other in total, and would thus give an inflated amount. Neither are the balances of the units consolidated, and are thus not published as statistics. There is no statutory requirement for internal liabilities or debts to be specified or reported. Furthermore, there may be a large number of units that are included in the sample which have such liabilities and/or debts towards units not included. Thus, consolidation of the balance sheets would be misleading.
The statistics were first published in 2006 (for the fiscal year 2005), and have since been published annually.
The revision of the Political Parties Act on 1 February 2013 entails a break in the homogeneity according to the organisations that are obliged to report comprehensively. For the years 2005 to 2012, all organisations with income except government subsidies of NOK 10 000 and more were obliged to report fully. For the fiscal year 2013 and later the limit was increased to NOK 12 000. The income of the political party organisations will differ over the years, especially between election and non-election years. Thus the number of organisations reporting comprehensively will depend on natural and formal changes. This may have an impact on the values published in the statistics.
The statistics for 2019 were based on reports from 883 units. For 2018, the statistics were based on 705 units (for 2017 766 units, 716 units in 2016, 781 units in 2015, 685 units in 2014, 693 units for 2013 and 634 units for 2012).
The data is reported by the units to the central register on forms submitted electronically. Different categories for entering the income, cost and balance sheet items are given in the form, including a category for party internal income transfers. Errors may occur when the different items are entered in the wrong category.
The Act requires gross revenues and costs to be reported. This means that revenue that is earmarked to cover specific costs or is to be transferred internally to other units within the same party must first be recognised as income and then as a cost (transfer to others) by the unit that originally received the amount. The amount shall be entered as income in an internal transfer by the units that have received such monies. Some units of the parties may have recorded such amounts as reimbursements, and reported the net amount, thus both the revenue and cost figures will be too low.
As an illustration, membership fees have been booked and reported at net value by some of the central political parties that received the fee from their members in 2013. A considerable part of the total was transferred to the local units. Due to the net booking, the membership fee reported for 2013 is too low and the increase in 2014 is misleading and too high. From 2015 and forward data may indicate that this error is reduced compared with 2014 and previous years.
The Political Party Act requires that all costs are divided by type and by activity. The cost shall be classified in two different ways. The total costs by type differ from total costs by activity due to non-consistent data from some of the political party units. Overall, the costs by activity are 0.12 per cent less than total costs by type.
The change in equity from 1 January to 31 December differs in some cases from the reported result. In some few cases, this may be due to capital contribution or withdrawal only booked in the balance - in contrast to the regulations by law. The change in equity may indicate that the cost should be 0,6 per cent lower or the income correspondingly higher in 2016 than reported.
Furthermore, some units have not reported at all, in spite of the obligation according to the Act. Thus, some units that should have reported full annual accounts according to the Act may not be included in the data. Imputations are not calculated and implemented to statistically compensate these errors.
Statistics Norway does not hold financial data for political parties with an income below the reporting limit according to the Political Parties Act. Thus, the accounts reported in these statistics are lower than the actual level. Neither governmental subsidies to, nor other income or costs of these parties are included in the statistics if not explicitly mentioned.