NDP out-fundraise governing UCP in first quarter

By Allison Smith April 26, 2021

The Alberta NDP raked in more than twice the amount in donations as the governing UCP for the first quarter of 2021.

The NDP brought in $1,186,245 from January 1 to March 31, mostly from donations of $250 and under.

The UCP took in $591,598, mostly from those who gave $250 or more.

However, the official Opposition led the UCP when it comes to larger donations. So far this year, the NDP brought in $377,000 from donations over $250, compared to around $358,000 for the UCP.

Of approximately 13,700 NDP donors, the party says around 2,600 contributed for the first time.

“We have momentum and we are so humbled to see the support from so many people as we work to build Alberta’s future,” NDP Leader Rachel Notley said in a news release.

UCP president Ryan Becker told CTV the pandemic and public health restrictions slowed his party’s fundraising efforts.

“We are saving resources toward our Campaign Victory Fund now and believe that with a successful vaccine rollout around the corner, we can start revving up our election readiness and fundraising machine later this year to pre-COVID levels as we build towards the 2023 election,” he said in a statement.

The parties’ fortunes have seen a turnaround that began after the pandemic hit. While the UCP raised $1,306,950 compared to the NDP’s $581,195 in the first quarter of 2020, the New Democrats’ fundraising efforts have since surged, finishing 2020 with $5,059,538 — just behind the UCP’s $5,074,186.

Former UCP leadership candidate and one-time Wildrose leader Brian Jean weighed in on the fundraising gap on Facebook.

“The number of Albertans making small donations to the NDP is the real issue here,” Jean said. “The UCP is losing the support of grassroots Albertans and something needs to be done to fix that. And soon.”

The Alberta Party raised $48,194, leading parties that lack elected representatives, followed by the Wildrose Independence Party at $36,884.

The Alberta Liberal Party raised $31,799 — less than the Pro-Life Alberta Political Association, which took in $33,261.

The Green Party of Alberta took in $5,010, while the Independence Party of Alberta raised $1,559.