08/08/2013 12:02 EDT | Updated 10/08/2013 05:12 EDT

Ontario Byelection Fundraising: Liberals Raise $1-Million, Outpace Rivals

TORONTO, ON - JULY 16: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne during a campaign stop at the Islington subway station for Etobicoke-Lakeshore byelection candidate Peter Milczyn. (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO - Political insiders are still debating the significance of the results of five Ontario byelections last week, but it's clear the campaigns helped the parties add to their election war chests.

Ontario's governing Liberals lost three of the five byelections, but they raised the most money of any party during the campaign for the Aug. 1 votes.

Preliminary figures from Elections Ontario show the Liberals raised about $1 million for the byelections in Ottawa, Windsor, London and Toronto, with many banks and corporations donating the maximum $9,300.

However, critics say the Liberals raised a lot of the money before the byelection campaigns and simply held back on filing the returns until the campaigns started.

The Elections Ontario figures show the Progressive Conservatives raised about $245,000, but party officials say they haven't filed all their paperwork and the actual total was $870,000.

Elections Ontario removed donation figures for the New Democrats at the party's request because of a problem with the way the money was allocated. An earlier posting showed the NDP had raised about $86,000 by July 15.

The New Democrats took seats in Windsor and London from the Liberals while the Tories made a breakthrough in Toronto by taking Etobicoke-Lakeshore.

The Liberals managed to hold Scarborough-Guildwood and former premier Dalton McGuinty's old riding of Ottawa South.

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