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BC United is narrowing its fundraising gap with the NDP

The newly rebranded party grew year-over-year donations by hundreds of thousands of dollars
BC United leader Kevin Falcon at the launch of the party's rebrand

The fundraising gap continues to narrow between the governing NDP and the Opposition BC United Party.

According to Elections BC returns released Wednesday, Premier David Eby’s party raised $756,860.05 from supporters in the first quarter of 2023. The former BC Liberals were $126,000 behind, reporting $630,434.12 from their donors. 

Year-over-year, the NDP saw $19,000 more in donations. BC United, however, grew by $300,000.

More than half of the NDP’s donation revenue from Jan. 1 to March 31 ($393,073.05) came from the 6,000 contributors who gave $250 or less. The remaining $363,717 came from the 684 party backers who donated more than $250 each.

BC United still relies on donors who go to the max: 651 gave more than $250 each, totallling $485,473.74. Only 1,970 donated $250 or less, for a total of $144,420.38.

The NDP reported a $45,354.72 transfer from Eby’s leadership campaign. BC United transferred $103,622.74 to Falcon’s winning leadership campaign and $31,284.50 to Renee Merrifield, who finished sixth out of seven candidates. Falcon spent almost $1.13 million on his leadership bid, far above the $600,000 spending limit. Afterward, the party said some expenses were not subject to the quota. 

Meanwhile, the Greens reported $201,630.42 in first-quarter donations and the BC Conservatives, now led by ex-BC Liberal John Rustad, reported $25,861.40.

Elections BC set $1,401.40 as the limit for individual donations to candidates and parties. Corporate and union donations were banned after the NDP came to power in 2017, with a per-vote subsidy as a partial replacement for lost revenue. The NDP received $1.57 million from the subsidy last year, while BC United received $1.1 million and the Greens, $497,000.

For last year, the NDP reported $5.9 million in total income, while the former BC Liberals took in $4.03 million. The Greens grossed $1.63 million.