NDP Leadership Fundraising Predicted First Ballot Outcome in 2003
February 2nd, 2012
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[Welcome, National Newswatch readers!]
If the 2003 NDP leadership race is anything to go by, a candidate's share of the overall funds being raised for the contest could predict his or her first ballot vote-share to within 1.5 percentage points.*
2003 NDP Leadership Contest Fundraising vs Votes Obtained (based on Jan, 2003 interim report)
(* Thanks to regular reader "Krago" for sending along the archived Babble link with the older data !)
That being the case, roughly half-way through the 2011-2012 NDP leadership race, Brian Topp and Thomas Mulcair are leading the pack. With 23.6% and 20.4% of the total take respectively, the two early front-runners represent 44% of all the funds raised to December 31, 2011 between them.
Peggy Nash, Paul Dewar and Nathan Cullen are behind with 15.1%, 13.1% and 12.0% (representing another 40% of all the leadership fundraising to the end of 2011), while the other four registered candidates trail below 7%.
Another indicator from yesterday's fundraising data is the number of donations. Here you can distinguish the mass-based fund-raising campaigns from the more elite ones. The Mulcair campaign has one of the strongest fundraising teams, given that they've raised 24.9% of all the leadership donations to the end of last calendar year. A bit behind him are Paul Dewar (18.3% of all 2011 leadership donations) and Nathan Cullen (17.8%).
Nash (13.9%) and Topp (12.2%) represent the third tier on this measure, with the other four accounting for fewer than 5% of the total donations each.
2011-12 NDP Leadership Contest Fundraising to End of 2011
|Candidate||Donations $||Donations #|
In terms of their progress towards meeting the goal of a fully-funded campaign, at half-time the two front-runners sit at 33.7% and 29.2% of the current $500K spending limit raised respectively. Nash, Dewar and Cullen are running between 17.2 – 21.6% of the limit, with the rest below 10%.
In 2003, only Bill Blaikie and Jack Layton raised substantially more than 10% of the limit, over the entire 7-month race. The 2003 spending limit was $500K as well.
Of course, leadership contestants would have to raise in excess of a half a million dollars in order to fully fund a campaign, given that the NDP assesses a 15% levy on leadership donations in order to pay for the costs of running the race. Under the Elections Act, a leadership contestant could choose not to pass contributions through their party and hence not be subject to the levy, but those donors would not be eligible for a tax receipt, and in any event, the rules set by the NDP for its own race preclude that manner of fundraising.
Moreover, some expenses such as candidate travel (except travel to the six party-sponsored leadership debates) are exempt from the ceiling. This permits candidates living in remote parts of the country to compete on a level playing field with those centrally located. But of course, that entails more fundraising to cover those costs.
2011-12 NDP Leadership Contest Fundraising – Selected Metrics
|Candidate||Donations to Dec 31, 2011|
|Tot $||Tot #||Avg $
As a measure of tapped-out-ness, I also took a look at the distribution of the 279 donations of $900 or more. Brian Topp had 110 donations in that category, while Peggy Nash had 62. Remember that since the contribution ceiling is a per-event limit, if one campaign has completely "tapped out" a contributor, no other campaign can raise money from those individuals afterwards either.
This means the 21 folks who gave $900 or more to Robert Chisholm, for example, will not have much more room (if any) to contribute to any of the remaining candidates. Thus, there is a certain incentive to lock down the high-end contributors early in the fundraising cycle, in order to prevent them from being able to give to your competitors.
Glen McGregor has already looked at the fundraising timelines in a blogpost for the OttawaCitizen.com, which I won't try to emulate, but will simply link to his fantastic chart here:
Finally, the distribution by province. I can't do that for the Q4 data, because the candidates didn't record, or the party didn't upload (or the Elections Canada web-upload application didn't take) the province, city and postal-code data for the Part 2b contributors in Q4, for some reason. If that can be fixed, I'll have a go at it.
Insofar as the Q3 data is concerned, Brian Topp raised all but $800 of his $11,850 from the Greater Toronto area, with $250 each coming from British Columbia and Montréal, and $300 from Alberta.
Note that all leadership contest contributors must be reported by name regardless of the size of their donation (so Nathan Cullen's two Anonymous contributors will have to either be named, or have their contributions returned). The contribution ceiling is a per-event limit, such that no-one may give more than $1,200 in total to all the leadership campaigns. This means someone having already given the limit to one candidate can never make another financial contribution to either that leadership campaign OR ANY OTHER, for the duration of the leadership race. Someone who has given $800 to one candidate could give $200 to a second candidate, and $100 each to two others. You get the idea.
For the latest on the NDP Leadership Race, don't forget to follow the half-hourly news updates, and social media tickers at the Pundits' Guide NDPLdr portal page: http://ndpldr.punditsguide.ca