Latest figures from Elections BC show the BC NDP maintaining their fundraising edge over BC United, BC Greens and Conservatives.
Between April 1 and June 30, the party of Premier David Eby raised $1.022 million. BC United under Opposition Leader Kevin Falcon raised just under $769,000. BC Greens under the leadership of Sonia Furstenau raised just under $299,000, while the Conservative Party of BC under new leader and long-time MLA John Rustad raised just over $65,000.
The Conservative Party of BC made the biggest percentage jump in the latest figures (almost 153 per cent) but from a low amount.
This increase likely reflects renewed interest in the once-morbid party after Rustad, who formally sits as an independent in the provincial legislature, had become the party’s leader at the end of March.
Rustad, who has held the northern riding of Nechako Lakes since 2005 as a BC Liberal before joining the Conservatives, has been touring the province during the past months, drumming up support by framing his party as a populist alternative to both NDP and BC United, but likely drawing more support away from BC United.
Overall, New Democrats have raised just under $1.8 million through the first six months of 2023, followed by BC United with just under $1.4 million, the BC Greens with just over $500,000 and the Conservatives with just over $91,000.
Through the first six months of 2022, New Democrats had raised more than $1.72 million while BC United — then known as the BC Liberals — had raised just over $994,000.
So year-to-year, the fundraising gap between the two main parties in the legislature has shrunk. But the momentum of the main opposition party also appears to be slowing down.
While BC United had come within some $126,000 of the New Democrats (just under $757,000) during the first three months of 2023, the gap widened again during the second quarter of 2023 to just over $254,000.
Two by-elections, both won by the NDP, took place during the latest financial reporting period.
While financial figures for the individual campaigns in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and Langford Juan-de-Fuca are not yet available through Elections BC, the latest figures show New Democrats and BC raised about the same share of their overall total for the second quarter during the campaign period with BC United (20 per cent) ahead of New Democrats (19 per cent).
Perhaps more revealing will be the next reporting period. While commentators had expected the NDP to win both seats, many observers considered the performance of BC United poor, having finished third behind the Conservatives in one of the races, and it will be interesting to see whether such assessments will impact fundraising numbers.