OTTAWA - Stephen Harper's Conservatives may be down in the polls but they're continuing to rake in money hand over fist.
Financial reports filed with Elections Canada show the Tories scooped up $4.5 million during the first three months of 2013 — more than twice what either the Liberals or NDP managed to pull in.
The Liberals raised just over $1.7 million, slightly more than the New Democrats, while in the midst of a high-profile leadership contest that boosted the third party into first place in some opinion polls.
Adding in more than $300,000 in entry fees from the leadership contenders pushed the Liberal total to just over $2 million.
The NDP collected $1.6 million during the first three months of the year while the Green party raised $305,000 and the Bloc Quebecois just $79,000.
Newly minted Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said the first quarter results show "there's no question we still have an awful lot of work to do" to compete with "the very intense, very negative fundraising machine that the Conservatives have."
Still, he noted that Liberal leadership contenders were raking in donations during the first three months of the year — some $1.6 million — in addition to the money raised by the party.
He himself raised a bit more than $2 million over the entire course of the contest, which ended April 14.
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