Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Liberal Fundraising/Membership Soars

The Liberals National President Alf Apps has divulged some very encouraging information. Last quarter fundraising showed the Liberals more than doubling their year to year totals. Apps reveals, with some quick math, that this quarter fundraising will be in excess of 3 million dollars, which effectively puts the Liberals within striking distance of the Conservative juggernaut. To put this figure into perspective, the Liberals are now raising about FOUR times what they had, during non election fundraising quarters:
"You can assume that we’re going to report somewhere over $5 million for the first six months (ending June 30)," Apps said in an interview following a speech to the Laurier Club of Manitoba.

He added that the past three months have been the best fund-raising quarter for the party in "many, many years."

Apps, in town for meetings with provincial Liberals, attributed the boost in fund-raising to the momentum generated by crowning a new leader in Michael Ignatieff and to "the recovery of the party generally."

He also argued that recent Conservative attack ads targeting Ignatieff have backfired and spurred Liberal supporters to open their wallets.

"People reacted very strongly to that," he said.

The Liberals raised around 1.8 million for the first quarter, so Apps assertion translates to an eye catching 3 million plus for the quarter that ends this week. Any objective observer has to be impressed with how quickly the Liberals have ramped up fundraising, certainly much faster improvement than I expected.

There is also very good news on the membership front. Prior to the convention, I had heard membership was around 40 to 50000. According to Apps, the party has doubled membership and this has been done prior to the co-ordinated push this summer, which will swell the ranks further:
Meanwhile, national party membership, which dipped to 36,000 at the end of last year, is "closing in on 90,000," and the Liberals are shooting for 200,000 by the end of 2009, he said.

Another impressive gradient that demonstrates the Liberals are getting their house in order in rapid fashion.

12 comments:

KNB said...

Nice!

Meanwhile, national party membership, which dipped to 36,000 at the end of last year, is "closing in on 90,000," and the Liberals are shooting for 200,000 by the end of 2009, he said.

I seem to remember a 'talking head' ridiculing App's goal. Maybe more thinking and less talking is in order? ;)

RuralSandi said...

Have the NDP figures comes out yet? Just curious.

James Curran said...

Interesting. During the non-leadership, leadership race of 2008, the numbers bandied about said that there were 68,000 existing members in 2008. Down from close to 500,000 in 2004. In a recent seminar to politicos, I utilized some such stats.

But we are on the right track and Alf and Rocco are doing an amazing and impressive job on both the fundraising and membership fronts. impressive indeed.

Anonymous said...

The NDP is having big problems mobilizing their base right now. many of the fire brands were angry about the coalition, and it is my understanding that they are deeply in debt.

If there were an election tomorrow, they would have to take out another mortgage on the building they own just to finance a half asses campaign. If they lost votes, they would likely have to sell the building.

Steve V said...

Lavigne has already come out and said NDP fundraising will be quite weak this quarter, citing a bunch of factors.

foottothefire said...

Well, we are dealing with Angus Reid so the #'s speak for...Angus Reid.
Nonetheless, one more bluster from Michael and he will have established a consistent rep.
Someone better poke someone in the eye on this one.

A reader said...

The NDP is having big problems mobilizing their base right now. many of the fire brands were angry about the coalition, and it is my understanding that they are deeply in debt.

If there were an election tomorrow, they would have to take out another mortgage on the building they own just to finance a half asses campaign. If they lost votes, they would likely have to sell the building.


Anon, I don't know where you're getting that "information" at all. In fact NDPers are rather thrilled to have formed their first government ever east of the Ontario Quebec border, and have just completed leadership conventions in two provinces.

The Liberal Party would be so lucky as to have a building to help them finance election campaigns. Instead you guys were paying 3/4s of a million dollars on lease costs for your office last year, while the NDP was collecting rental income.

The biggest asset listed on the Liberal's balance sheet was $4.5 million in "accounts receivable", which have been there for 2 years. Without them your party was over $2 million in the hole ... and that was last year.

Even the banks think the NDP is a better risk, because they charged you guys prime+3% and the NDP prime+1.25%.

You had a couple of good quarters, which is good for you. But let's see how well you do now that the honeymoon with your new leader is clearly over. I don't think he impressed too many people last week, that's for sure.

Steve V said...

"In fact NDPers are rather thrilled to have formed their first government ever east of the Ontario Quebec border"

Yes, and curiously, the only reason that happened is because the party ran a traditional LIBERAL campaign, moving to the center. If anything, it's further proof that the dinosaur socialism of the federal NDP isn't a vote winner. People tend to gloss over the policies, and just see the party banner. If you actually look at how the provincial NDP did it, you'll see it offers no "thrill" for what we see on the federal scene. Sounds like the McGuinty model actually.

A reader said...

dinosaur socialism

Yes, it's so paleolithic to advocate for a green auto strategy, improving EI eligibility, and that workers should not get screwed out of their pensions when executives walk away with obscene bonuses.

In other news, McGuinty cronies walk away with obscene daily rates at eHealth Ontario, and forget to actually fix healthcare.

Not a pattern I'd encourage Darrell Dexter to emulate, particularly.

Steve V said...

You conveniently ignored the fact that the NDP moved to the center in that election. If you want to divert attention to specific issues, then maybe we can talk about what McGuinty has done on education (according to educators that is), not to mention his very agressive green act (lauded by environmentalists). What's your point?

It is an objective fact, that the NDP did win and they did it by moving away from a far left agenda. Sort of like all NDP parties do, once they take office. Doer, Calvert, Rae, not even close to this rhetoric we hear from the federal NDP. It's the difference between theoretical land, with no chance of actually governing and the practical realities.

A reader said...

Thanks for your advice about needing to address the centre-left, Steve.

I also note with appreciation that your new Leader has been leaving us a LOT of room there lately.

Steve V said...

"I also note with appreciation that your new Leader has been leaving us a LOT of room there lately."

And, the polls and your terrible fundraising show a real capacity to capitalize on this apparent latitude. Maybe if they read things, that would help ;)