The Conservative Party reported a record-breaking fundraising haul in the fourth quarter of last year: more than $11.9 million collected from about 66,000 donors, according to Elections Canada data.
The party received more than $35 million from about 200,000 donors last year
John Paul Tasker · CBC News
· Posted: Jan 31, 2024 11:47 AM EST | Last Updated: 28 minutes ago
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre addresses the national Conservative caucus on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)The Conservative Party reported a record-breaking fundraising haul in the fourth quarter of last year: more than $11.9 million collected from about 66,000 donors, according to Elections Canada data.
That eye-popping figure made 2023 one of the party’s best fundraising years since its founding two decades ago.
The party collected more than $35 million from about 200,000 donation over 2023.
That’s more than the party reported collecting in 2022 — which was a leadership election year, when party supporters were busy cutting cheques for their preferred candidates.
The Tories collected $9.6 million from 60,666 donors.in the fourth quarter of 2022 (the last three months of the year are usually the best period for party fundraising). The Conservative Party brought in about $22 million in total in 2022.
The party’s improved fundraising performance in 2023 suggests Conservative supporters were more willing to open their wallets with leader Pierre Poilievre at the helm.
“In Pierre Poilievre’s first full year as Conservative Party Leader, the party broke all fundraising records for any political party in Canadian history, bringing in a record $35.2 million in 2023,” the party said in a media statement.
“It couldn’t be more clear that Canadians want change.”
“These results prove support for my common sense plan to axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop the crime,” Poilievre added.
The previous fundraising record for a non-election year was set by the Conservative Party in 2018, when it raised $24.2 million.
Flush with cash, the Tories have the resources to spend big in this pre-election period on pricey TV ads and social media canvassing.
Robert Staley, the chair of the Conservative Fund, the party’s fundraising arm, told policy convention delegates in September that more ads are planned to bolster Poilievre’s profile with Canadians.
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The Liberals, meanwhile, reported collecting less than half of the Conservative haul in the fourth quarter — about $5.8 million from 38,288 donors.
But there’s good news for the governing party in the latest Elections Canada report. The amount the Liberals raised in the fourth quarter is about the same as what they collected in 2022. The number of donors (38,288) is also stable compared to last year (38,416).
The Liberals took in about $15.6 million in total donations in 2023. That’s up from their $15 million haul the year before.
While the Liberals have seen a drop in support in recent national polls, the party’s donations haven’t seen a similar decline.
That sets the party up to launch some sort of counter-attack on the high-flying Conservatives and their leader.
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Parker Lund, a spokesperson for the Liberal Party, said 93 per cent of the party’s donations were under $200 with a median donation amount of $12.50.
He called those figures “a true testament to the party’s strong grassroots support.”
Lund also said Liberal Party donors are getting “far more value for their donations than the Conservatives” because the Tories spend a lot more money on fundraising infrastructure.
“Annual returns show that the Conservatives spent $53.7 million on fundraising costs from 2016 through 2022, while the Liberal Party’s figure was just $21.8 million,” Lund said.
Lund said 2023 was a good year for the party because “tens of thousands” of supporters participated in one of their door-knocking and phone-banking drives to meet and speak with voters, attended the party’s convention in Ottawa or participated in the policy-drafting process.
The NDP collected roughly $2.6 million from 19,289 donors in the fourth quarter of 2023. They raised about $6.8 million in total over the year.
The NDP collected $2.5 million from 20,352 donors in the fourth quarter of 2022 and $6.2 million over the entire year.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J.P. Tasker is a journalist in CBC’s parliamentary bureau who reports for digital, radio and television. He is also a regular panellist on CBC News Network’s Power & Politics. He covers the Conservative Party, Canada-U.S. relations, Crown-Indigenous affairs, climate change, health policy and the Senate. You can send story ideas and tips to J.P. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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