Politics

Conservatives edge out Liberals in 4th quarter fundraising in 2017

New data from Elections Canada show the Conservatives narrowly raised more money than the Liberals in the last quarter of 2017, taking $5.8 million to $5.1 million for the governing party.

The Conservatives had their best fundraising quarter since the 2015 federal election

Andrew Scheer's Conservatives raised $5.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, more than the Liberals' $5.1 million. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

The Conservatives raised the most money in the fourth quarter of 2017, narrowly edging out the Liberals with their best quarter since the 2015 federal election.

New quarterly fundraising reports posted by Elections Canada show the Conservatives raised $5,833,018 from 40,810 individual contributions in the last three months of 2017. It was the party's best performance since the third quarter of 2015, when the election campaign was in full swing, and marked an increase of $1.2 million since the last quarter of 2016.

The Liberals raised $5,113,287 from 39,666 contributions, down about $700,000 from last year's fourth quarter.

The New Democrats took in $2,049,140 from 18,771 contributions, their best quarter since the last federal election and their first under leader Jagmeet Singh — though donations were up only marginally from the party's haul in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Political parties tend to put most of their fundraising efforts into the last three months of the year. Outside of election years, and with very few exceptions, the fourth quarter is the one in which parties have raised the largest share of their money.

The Conservatives raised the most money throughout 2017, totalling $18.9 million, followed by the Liberals at $14.1 million and the NDP at $4.9 million.

The Green Party raised $1,099,725 from 10,142 individual contributions, down from the $1.3 million raised in the fourth quarter of 2016, and $2.5 million for the entirety of 2017. The Bloc Québécois raised $401,229 from 4,034 contributions in the fourth quarter of 2017, the party's best non-election quarter in at least a decade. The party's total haul for the year was $705,273.

Singh raised nearly $1M, Kevin O'Leary nothing

Despite the completion of the NDP and Conservative leadership races before the fourth quarter, leadership contestants were still raising money — some to pay off outstanding debts.

Singh raised the most in the quarter, taking in $209,000 to bring his total for the entire leadership campaign to $940,000, nearly double the amount raised by his closest rival.

Charlie Angus took in another $51,000, while Guy Caron raised $27,000 and Niki Ashton another $23,000.

The NDP leadership race came to a close on Oct. 1, 2017. The Conservative leadership was settled on May 27, 2017, but contestants still raised a combined $88,000 in the fourth quarter to pay off their debts. This included the $45,000 raised by Erin O'Toole, $21,000 by Kellie Leitch and $13,000 by Maxime Bernier.

Kevin O'Leary, whose debts are over half a million dollars, did not raise any money in the fourth quarter.

CBC Polls Analyst Eric Grenier crunched the numbers. 3:01

About the Author

Éric Grenier

Politics and polls

Éric Grenier is a senior writer and the CBC's polls analyst. He was the founder of ThreeHundredEight.com and has written for The Globe and Mail, Huffington Post Canada, The Hill Times, Le Devoir, and L’actualité.