"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.