Saskatchewan

Sask. Party holds healthy lead on NDP in fundraising and most recent poll

As door-to-door canvassing begins, the governing Saskatchewan Party is showing a healthy advantage over the NDP in both fundraising and polling ahead of the October 26 provincial election.

Sask. Party raised $2M more than NDP in 2019

Scott Moe's Saskatchewan Party raised more money than Ryan Meili and the NDP in 2019. Both men will lead their parties in an election for the first time this October. (CBC)

As door-to-door canvassing is allowed to begin, the governing Saskatchewan Party is showing a healthy advantage over the NDP in both fundraising and polling ahead of the October 26 provincial election.

On Tuesday, the provincial government announced that door-to-door soliciting will now be allowed, which means you may soon see political parties and candidates on your doorstep.

The Saskatchewan Party showed a healthy fundraising lead of roughly $2 million over the NDP in 2019.

Here's how the majority of the donations break down:

Saskatchewan Party

  • $3.4 million total donations.
  • $1.9 million in donations from 15,300 individuals.
  • $1.2 million from 966 corporate donors.
  • $1,500 from 3 trade unions.

NDP

  • $1.35  million in total donations.
  • $1.07 million in donations from 9,421 individuals.
  • $52,900 from 59 corporate donors.
  • $200,000 from 36 trade unions.

The Saskatchewan Party's largest corporate donors were:

  • PIC Investment Group - $26,300.
  • Dura Construction - $12,800.
  • Jubilee Ford - $12,500.

The NDP's largest corporate donors were:

  • 101154547 Saskatchewan LTD - $6,000.
  • TD Bank = $5,000.
  • McDougall Gauley LLP - $4,661.

The NDP received $69,000 from Unifor and $60,000 from CUPE-SCFP. It also received $20,000 from the estate of Patricia Thomas as its largest donation from an individual.

The Saskatchewan Party's two largest individual donors were Glen Dow ($10,240) and Ronald Graham ($10,000).

Parties react to fundraising results

The party officials leading the Saskatchewan Party and the NDP in their upcoming election campaigns said they were encouraged by their fundraising efforts in 2019 and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Many in the business community, like many other Saskatchewan people, believe the Saskatchewan Party is the best choice to lead our province's economic recovery from the pandemic. As a result, many of those individuals and businesses have chosen to support the Saskatchewan Party financially," said Saskatchewan Party executive director Patrick Bundrock.

Saskatchewan NDP CEO John Tzupa said his party wants corporate and out-of-province donations eliminated in the province.

"Across the country, there's been a restriction to only individual donations from in-province with donation limits and we fully support that reform and that's something that we'll do immediately," Tzupa said.

Both parties said COVID-19 caused some changes to how they raise money, with in-person events cancelled.

"The Saskatchewan Party temporarily suspended most of our fundraising efforts in the first few weeks of the pandemic in Saskatchewan," Bundrock said.

He said the Saskatchewan Party recently resumed its fundraising program and is seeing "strong results."

Tzupa said the NDP is "now raising a lot more money than we did last year" despite not holding any in-person events.

COVID-19 and campaigning 

Both parties said they will be ready to see voters in person now that it is allowed.

"We will follow all the guidelines, which I expect means things like ensuring physical distancing by stepping back off the doorstep when speaking to the voter at the door," Bundrock said.

Both Bundrock and Tzupa said their parties will be monitoring health guidelines and orders when door knocking.

The NDP has more work to do to field a full slate of candidates. It has 20 more spots to fill, while the Saskatchewan Party has just four.

Recent poll shows NDP behind 25 points

As of now, Saskatchewan is the only province slated to go to the ballot box in 2020. 

The most recent public poll by EKOS Research, released earlier this month, had the Sask. Party leading the NDP by 25 points - 57 per cent to 32 per cent among decided voters.

The poll was conducted in June and July and surveyed 1,240 people. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

"While we are encouraged by the results of some recent public polls, the only poll that counts is on election day and we will continue to work hard between now and then to earn the support of Saskatchewan voters," Bundrock said.

"We're looking forward to the opportunity to put our vision up against the Sask Party. We are actively working to earn every vote one at a time and to have a successful outcome," Tzupa said.

When voters head to the polls this fall in Saskatchewan, the voting experience will look a bit different due to COVID-19. (James Hopkin/CBC)

CBC poll analyst Éric Grenier said recent polling shows "stability" for the Saskatchewan Party.

"With the exception of a dip in Saskatchewan Party support in 2017 before the resignation of Brad Wall, the Sask. Party has been steady somewhere around 55 to 60 per cent for most of the last four years," Grenier said.

"Premier Moe's approval ratings have also been remarkably steady. He hasn't had the same dramatic bump in popularity as other premiers have had in recent months, but that is likely because his numbers were already quite high."

Grenier said the regional sample size of the EKOS poll is small and need to be viewed cautiously.

"Margins between the NDP and the Sask. Party look tighter in Saskatoon. That could be an opportunity for the New Democrats, but with these kinds of numbers we are only talking about a handful of seats."

Grenier said COVID-19 has "the potential to make things unpredictable, particularly when it comes to turnout and the possibility of flare-ups in cases that could suddenly impact public opinion."

In that vein, he said he will be watching how parties handle campaigning and rallies.

"If turnout drops significantly, that could have a big impact on the results, and we don't really know what that impact could be. Normally, low turnout favours parties with older supporters. But with COVID-19, older people may be less likely to risk going to the polling stations," Grenier said.

"We don't know what kind of voters go out during a pandemic."

About the Author

Adam Hunter

Journalist

Adam Hunter is the provincial affairs reporter at CBC Saskatchewan, based in Regina. He has been with CBC for 13 years. He hosts the CBC podcast On the Ledge. Follow him on Twitter @AHiddyCBC. Contact him: adam.hunter@cbc.ca

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