With the year end fundraising figures out for all the parties, encouraging signs for the Liberal Party in particular. The Conservatives still FAR outpace everyone, but the gap is narrowing and the Liberals are showing peculiar resilience, given recent electoral manifestations. As an aside, those scoffing at any fundraising “uptick” would be the same people jumping all over any “setback” as evidence of looming death, a revealing reality. There is something to be said for a third party easily besting the Official Opposition, as well as increasing donors, given perceptions.
It wasn’t that long ago that the Conservatives regularly had 4X the fundraising of the Liberals, ditto for the amount of donors. This latest quarter shows the closest comparison to date, Liberals actually raised 66% of the Conservative tally, 71% on the donor front:
Conservatives: 4,100,154.71 raised
Liberals: 2,716,969.86 raised
NDP: 1,613,434.61 raised
Conservatives: 35,747 donors
Liberals: 25,847 donors
NDP: 17,975 donors
Numbers that would give Peter C. Newman pause.
The above figures represents the narrowest fundraising gap we’ve seen in many years, while the Conservatives are still well out front, the Liberals are beginning to operate in the same area code. If we go back to the same quarter last year, we see the Conservatives have dropped 6000 donors and 1.1 million raised. The Liberals are up almost 6000 donors and more than 500000 thousand. NDP fundraising is flat year to year, number of donors up slightly.
With political fundraising subsidies being phased out, obviously the Liberals have a steep climb ahead. However, it is important to remember the Conservatives received the most money from this system, further amplifying the disparity. Under the above numbers as sole source of party income, this disparity is actually lessened, relative to the past.
The Liberals are starting to build a consistent fundraising base, the Victory Fund is creating a steady donor stream. Liberals have more than doubled their fundraising from last quarter, they’ve added 8000 donors, and they’ve once again easily outpaced the Official Opposition once again. Add in the narrowing gap with the Conservatives, and it’s a relatively optimistic scenario, the trends are encouraging.
There is a sense that Liberals have the slightest of breeze in their sails, the fundraising numbers do nothing to detract from that sentiment, in fact I’m putting the figures in the “Not Too Shabby Zombies” folder. Long way to go, but we’ve come some distance as well.