POLITICS

Party Fundraising Numbers Yield Some Surprising Results

08/01/2012 09:26 EDT | Updated 08/01/2012 09:27 EDT
CP

Party fundraising numbers for the second quarter of 2012 show the Conservatives are maintaining their runaway lead.

Despite indications the Tories may be losing support with Canadians, the party managed to raise more than the NDP and Liberals combined during the period.

The Bloc Québécois, meanwhile, had an absolutely dismal quarter, raising less than even the Green Party. The Bloc's largest donation in the period was $525, less than half of the current $1,200 limit per contribution.

That limit, however, was exceeded in two donations to the NDP, in one case by a factor of nearly 250.

The large donations are allowed due to an exception in the donation rules. If the contribution is made in a person's last will and testament it is not subject to the limit and can be as large as the donor desires.

The NDP received two such donations in the second quarter, one for $296,164.35 and another for $23,000.00. In both the first quarter of 2012 and the last of 2011, Jack Layton's estate made a $50,000 donation to the party.

None of the other parties received a donation which exceeded $1,200 during the quarter.

Without further ado, here are the numbers. If you're interested in more analysis, you can keep reading below the slideshow.

Which Parties Raised The Most Cash?

While the NDP failed to raise more cash than the Liberals, the newly minted Official Opposition is still doing well compared with previous years. In the first six months of the calendar, the New Democrats have nearly matched the total they usually raise in an entire year, according to Pundits' Guide's Alice Funke.

That said, the Liberals continue to enjoy a lead over the NDP in number of donors. The Grits received money from 22,611 people while the NDP had 18,478 donors.

The NDP did, however, receive larger average donations than the Liberals, according to the Ottawa Citizen's Glen McGregor. The NDP averaged $94 per donation while the Liberals averaged just under $80. Both, however, were dwarfed by the Tory average of $130 per donation.

Fundraising from individual donors is increasingly important for Canada's political parties as they prepare for the end of the per-vote public subsidy.

Late last year, the Tories introduced legislation to eliminate the subsidy parties currently receive each quarter. The subsidy was worth roughly $2 per vote after the 2011 election, but will fall to $1 in 2013 and to 50 cents in 2014. By the time Canadians return to the polls for a federal election in 2015, the subsidy will be gone altogether.

The Liberals sharply limited donations from corporations and unions in 2003 before the Tories eliminated them altogether in 2006. Federal parties have relied on the subsidy to stay afloat ever since. With both sources of income gone, individual donations will be the only game in town.

And it looks like that's a game the Conservatives are likely to win.

With files from The Canadian Press