Tory money machine faltered in 2012 as opposition parties up their game

OTTAWA – The federal Conservative money machine seems to have faltered somewhat.

Annual financial reports filed with Elections Canada show the ruling Tories still raised more money than anyone else last year but opposition parties closed the gap considerably.

The Conservatives raked in $17.3 million from 87,300 donors in 2012 — down more than $5 million from 2011, which was an election year.

The Tory take for 2012 is virtually the same as the party’s haul during the last non-election year in 2010 — when it raked in $5 million more than the Liberal, New Democrat and Green parties combined.

But the three main national opposition parties have upped their game since then; in 2012, their combined haul was slightly greater than the Conservatives.

The Liberal party took in $8.2 million from 44,500 donors, while leadership contenders took in another $1.3 million.

The NDP pulled in $7.7 million from 43,537 donors and the Greens pulled in just under $1.7 million from 9,532 contributors.

The financial reports show the Conservatives ended the year with a surplus of $12 million, the Liberals with $8 million, the NDP with $2.9 million and the Greens with $782,000.