Fundraising results during Canada's just-concluded federal election appear to confirm that money can't buy you love.
The Liberals won the Oct. 19 election but raised the least amount of money of the three main parties during the third quarter — $7.3 million.
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That's a record quarterly haul for the Liberals but well behind the Conservatives, who raised just over $10 million from July 1 to Sept. 30 — an all-time record for any party — even as the Tories were heading for defeat.
And it's less than the New Democrats pulled in — $9.1 million — even though the NDP went on to lose more than half its seats and sink back to third place.
The third quarter included the first two months of the 11-week marathon campaign, for most of which the Liberals were running third in opinion polls behind the NDP and Conservatives.
Liberals began to pull ahead in the polls at the end of September, just as the third quarter was wrapping up.
The Liberals also had the fewest donors during that period: 50,479 compared to 78,227 who gave to the NDP — a new record for any party — and 63,177 who gave to the Conservatives.
Tories still tops
In a bid to demonstrate momentum, the NDP boasted at the end of September that it had set a new quarterly fundraising record.
However, the Conservatives ultimately surpassed the NDP's haul, which turned out to be slightly higher than New Democrats initially reported.
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"Obviously, it shows we're still in very good shape," said Conservative party spokesman Cory Hann.
While the party faced "a monumental historical challenge" in trying to win a fourth consecutive mandate, Hann said the fundraising numbers "show that Canadians were motivated to see that Conservatives continue to keep taxes low, our country's finances in check and look out for everyday working Canadians and their families — and that's exactly what we'll do in the next Parliament."
The parties' third quarter fundraising results were submitted to Elections Canada on Friday.
In an email to supporters, Christina Topp, the senior director of fundraising for the Liberal Party, thanked donors for contributing to "our best fundraising quarter ever."
"This election was the longest and most expensive campaign we've ever run — over $40 million spent nationally alone," she wrote.
The message concluded with a pitch for more donations to "ensure we end the year without any long-term debt."
"Remember, better is always possible - even in fundraising!" she wrote.