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BC United lags in fundraising in lead-up to fall B.C. election

B.C.'s official opposition party has fallen to third place in recent quarterly fundraising
BC United leader Kevin Falcon has been encouraging donors to help fund his party's election efforts

B.C. political parties are ramping up fundraising efforts in the lead-up to the October 19 election – with varying degrees of success. 

The BC United party today told BIV in an email that it raised $627,000 in the April-through-June quarter. This follows news on Wednesday that B.C.'s governing New Democratic Party raised $2.2 million in that quarter while the upstart BC Conservative Party raised $1.1 million. The BC Greens told BIV in an email today that it raised about $334,000 in the April-through-June quarter.

Political scientists say BC United's fall to third place among B.C. political parties in quarterly fundraising should be worrying for the party because it is the province's official opposition.

"That is a very low number for, ostensibly, a major party heading into an election in a few months," University of British Columbia political science lecturer Stewart Prest told BIV this afternoon.

"It suggests that, in addition to polling results, or because the polling results, and the movement of candidates that were serving MLAs from BC United to the BC Conservatives, we're also seeing a movement of donors as well."

BC United remains ahead of the BC Conservatives in money raised in the past 18 months: $4.4 million, compared with $1.9 million, according to BC United data.

In the last six months, however, the BC Conservatives have eclipsed BC United, by raising $1.483 million, compared with $1.457 million, BC United director of communications Adam Wilson wrote in an email. 

Elections BC spokesman Andrew Watson told BIV that political parties have until July 31 to submit information on fundraising in the April-through-June quarter and that Elections BC will release that publicly about a week later. Names of large donors are not available now but Elections BC has a search function on its website to search for previous donors.

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