Liberal leader Justin Trudeau arrives with local candidate Pamela Goldsmith Jones prior to making an announcement in West Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, Sept, 10, 2015. (Photo: Jonathan Hayward/CP)Those amounts, the highest to any riding the central party helped financially in the last election, were targeted in areas where the Liberals expected to be in tight races in a region all three parties considered a key campaign battleground.
Liberals knew where to focus fundsSome 200 candidates had yet to file returns by the end of the month, representing thousands more transactions. Also missing from the data is how much the associations shipped up to the national parties themselves, each of whom had could have spent up to $54.5 million during the 78-day campaign. The Liberals — like the Conservatives and NDP — used detailed data analytic tools to figure out where they should focus their efforts, although they kept the information to themselves. The details of the transfers parties made to their candidates, and candidates between themselves, give a glimpse into where the parties felt they had the best chances of winning, or the local races that needed extra dollars to give one party an edge.
Trudeau's team surprised in B.C.The figures also provide some insight into work the Liberals have before them to help their associations pad the local war chests for the next election in 2019, said Kathy Brock, a politics professor at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont. A previous analysis by The Canadian Press found Conservative riding associations were flush with cash at the end of 2014, the most recent numbers available, with about $19 million available to help candidates across the country and the national campaign. That amount was more than the Liberals, NDP and Greens combined. "This would raise the question of how strong are the Liberals on the ground. If the fortunes start to turn against them, do they have the strength to maintain their position and be competitive in the next election? Or are we seeing a fundamental weakness for them?" Brock said. The amount of money associations bring in is an indicator of the support a party has, Brock said. If the association coffers are drying up, it means people aren't happy, Brock said. The spending figures show the Conservatives transferred more between associations than either the Liberals or NDP.
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