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This article was published 7/2/2012 (2750 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Manitoba Tories spent more than $1.42 million on their failed bid to form the province's new government in the Oct. 4 election.
But the NDP wasn't far behind, spending $1.31 million over the four-week campaign on everything from lawn signs, phones and polling to advertising. (The totals reflect what the central campaigns spent and do not include spending by individual campaigns.)
The Tories spent almost $200,000 more than in the 2007 election — only to end up with the same 19 out of 57 seats they had going in.
The third-place Liberals were way back in election spending. Their central election campaign bill was a paltry $183,123. They also have a deficit of more than $250,000 to deal with, according to the party's financial return.
It and the other parties' returns are now posted on the Elections Manitoba website. Most candidate financial returns will be posted over the next few days.
The Green party and the Communist party both got extensions to file their paperwork.
PC party CEO Jonathan Scarth said the Tories spent the money where they thought they'd get the biggest bang for their buck and, while the result wasn't pretty, the party did increase in popular vote to 43.86 per cent. That's closer to the NDP, which was at 46 per cent once the votes were counted.
He also said no one should be surprised the PCs spent more than the NDP on advertising during the campaign period, which started Sept. 6 and ended Dec. 5. for bookkeeping purposes.
Scarth said that's because the NDP uses government advertising to trumpet itself until the official cutoff date and then enjoys support from third-party advertising by its union allies.
The Tories can only compete against that by taking their message directly to the public through electronic and print ads, he said.
The Tories also transferred more than $606,000 from their central war chest to nominated candidates — these transfers are separate from party election expenses — in Winnipeg ridings the PCs thought were ripe for the picking from the NDP.
For example, Karen Velthuys in St. Norbert got $26,225, Rochelle Squires in Riel got $21,497, Susan Auch in Assiniboia got $22,860, Mike Brown in St. Vital got $21,412, Kelly de Groot in Kirkfield Park got $26,985 and Judy Eastman in Southdale got $26,625.
Former city councillor Gord Steeves, the PC candidate in Seine River, got $15,048 in his well-publicized but failed battle with Health Minister Theresa Oswald. The NDP's paperwork shows Oswald got $19,509 from the party — the most of any NDP candidate — to help beat Steeves.
Tuxedo PC MLA Heather Stefanson got $37,737 — more than any other Tory candidate — to help run her campaign. Scarth said this transfer by the central party to Stefanson reflected the amount of fundraising done by the party in the southwest Winnipeg riding more than anything.
Steinbach PC MLA Kelvin Goertzen got the least transferred from the Tory party — just $200.
Scarth said that was partly due to Goertzen's own campaign fundraising, which raised more than $28,000.
Goertzen is now a possible contender for outgoing leader Hugh McFadyen's job. McFadyen said on election night he'd step down when a new leader is picked. The party's leadership convention is Oct. 27.
Scarth said the party will review its strategy, including how it spent its funds and will present it to the new leader. He added the party's finances are healthy and fundraising continues, although there could be a blip during the leadership campaign and convention.
Meanwhile, the Liberals spent almost $25,000 less than they did in 2007, but that's when they had two incumbents — Leader Jon Gerrard and former Inkster MLA Kevin Lamoureux — fighting to keep their seats.
In the Oct. 4 election, Gerrard kept his River Heights seat, but the party only won 7.8 per cent of the popular vote, about half of what it received in the 2007 election.
Leader Jon Gerrard said he'll step down in 2013 so someone new can take the party into the next election currently set for the fall of 2015.
A SNAPSHOT OF WHO WON AND HOW MUCH THEY SPENT, OR DIDN'T
Who won: Drew Caldwell (NDP)
Who lost: Mike Waddell (PC)
By how much: 1,153 votes
How much they spent: Waddell $26,550.48; Caldwell $14,544.49
Spending limit: $37,362
Who won: James Allum (NDP)
Who lost: Ian Rabb (PC)
By how much: 2,094 votes
How much they spent: Rabb $38,526.52; Allum: $22,528.04
Spending limit: $40,175
Who won: Jon Gerrard (Lib)
Who lost: Marty Morantz (PC)
By how much: 1,367 votes
How much they spent: Morantz $37,481.17; Gerrard $35,210.49
Spending limit: $40,355
Who won: David Gaudreau (NDP)
Who lost: Karen Velthuys (PC)
By how much: 31 votes
How much they spent: Velthuys $32,439,47; Gaudreau $25,959.60
Spending limit: $38,572
The filing deadline for Oct. 4 election expenses was Feb. 6. In some cases, candidates can extend the deadline. Those who did not file face a late fee of $25 a day up to a maximum of $750.
Candidates who received 10 per cent of the valid votes in their constituency are eligible for reimbursement under The Elections Finances Act.
Who spent the most to advertise
Progressive Conservatives — $718,406
NDP — $653,299
Liberals — $110,733
source: Elections Manitoba