Politics

Conservatives maintain fundraising edge over Liberals

Conservatives and Liberals have set new non-election year records in fundraising ahead of the 2019 vote.

Conservatives and Liberals set new fundraising records for a non-election year

Andrew Scheer's Conservatives raised $4.9 million in the third quarter of 2018, compared to $3.8 million for Justin Trudeau's Liberals. (Ted Pritchard/Canadian Press)

Both the Conservatives and Liberals set new fundraising records in the past quarter, raising more money than in any other third quarter in a non-election year.

But the Conservatives have held onto their fundraising advantage over the Liberals for the seventh consecutive quarter, raising over $1 million more than the governing party.

Quarterly financial returns filed with Elections Canada show the Conservatives raised $4,855,184 between July and September 2018 from 36,655 individual contributions, a gain of $1.2 million over the amount the party raised in the third quarter of last year.

So far, the Conservative Party of Canada has raised $16.9 million this year, putting it on track for its best fundraising year outside of an election.

The Liberals raised $3,761,601 from about 33,000 individual contributions. Their tally was up by $632,000 over the third quarter of last year, bringing their total fundraising in 2018 to $10.2 million.

But unlike the Conservatives, the Liberals raised more money in the third quarter than they did in the second of this year — an increase of $662,000. Conservative fundraising fell by $1.2 million between the second and third quarters.

A drop between the second and third quarters is relatively common for the Conservatives, however. Since 2007, the third quarter of the year has tended to deliver the Conservatives' lowest fundraising sum of the year.

The New Democrats raised $861,890 from 11,877 contributions in the third quarter, making it the party's worst fundraising quarter under leader Jagmeet Singh — the party raised about $10,000 more in the second quarter — and its worst third quarter in over a decade. The party has raised $3.1 million so far in 2018.

Greens on track for best non-election year

The Green Party raised $555,387 from 7,309 individual contributions, bringing its total for 2018 to just under $1.7 million. Leaving aside 2015 — when the party was gearing up for the federal election — the Greens are on track for their best fundraising year on record.

The Bloc Québécois raised just $24,847 from 278 individual contributions. That's the party's worst performance since the third quarter of 2014.

Quebec was in the midst of a provincial election in third quarter 2014, as it was over September 2018. Provincial elections tend to undermine the Bloc's fundraising capacity because it shares a donor base with supporters of the Parti Québécois. Nevertheless, the party is on track for its worst fundraising year since 2012.

Maxime Bernier's People's Party, which has yet to be officially registered by Elections Canada, does not have to file quarterly fundraising figures. But a party spokesperson said that between Bernier's departure from the Conservatives and Sept. 30, the end date of the third quarter, the Quebec MP raised $331,000.

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