NDP logged big bucks in profitable fourth quarter

By Shannon Waters February 4, 2021

B.C.’s main political parties saw their fundraising numbers soar in the final quarter of 2020, according to fresh interim financial reports released by Elections BC.

Over a third of those donations were made during the first weeks of the quarter, while the election campaign was still in action (the reports cover the period from October 1 to December 31, 2020).

The BC Liberal Party pulled in well over half of its $1.5-million Q4 haul between October 1 and October 24 (voting day). Only $633,000 of that was raised after its defeat.

The election effect was not quite so pronounced for the NDP, which reported raising $1.3 million between October 1 and 24, 2020. The NDP received more than $2.9 million in donations over the course of the quarter.

The BC Green Party reported $383,600 in donations during the campaign weeks — more than it reported in any of the preceding three quarters — and a total of nearly $903,000 overall in Q4.

All three parties saw the bulk of their funding dollars in Q4 come from large donations. The Greens reported 838 donations over $250 — for a total just over $487,000 — while 4,586 donations of $250 or less contributed nearly $415,700 to the party coffers.

Large donors accounted for a much larger portion of the Liberal Party’s donations — more than $1.1 million came from 1,561 donations of more than $250, an average of $705 per donor. The party’s 4,568 smaller donations amounted to just over $392,500.

The NDP received 13,701 donations of less than $250 — for a total of nearly $1.2 million — while almost $1.8 million of the party’s haul came from 2,965 donations of more than $250 (an average of $607 per high-level donor).

Taken together, the interim quarterly reports — required filings for all parties receiving B.C.’s annual allowance — show the NDP reporting more than $6.2 million in donations in 2020. The party also received a per-vote subsidy of over $1.5 million.

Liberal fundraising last year totalled $3.6 million and the party’s annual subsidy was about $1.6 million. The Greens reported nearly $1.5 million in donations in 2020 and received $664,000 from the taxpayer-funded allowance.

Following the 2020 election results, the Liberals will see their annual allowance drop to $1.1 million this year while the Greens will get $497,570. The NDP is set to receive $1.6 million, and the Conservative Party of B.C. will get a total of $62,828 — its first time receiving the per vote subsidy. The Rural BC Party will also get an annual subsidy of $1,320.

Both the Rural BC Party and the BC Conservatives will have to file quarterly reports on their fundraising activities as a condition of receiving the annual allowance.