The candidate in the recent provincial byelection in Nanaimo who received the most votes also spent more than any other candidate.
Financial information surrounding the January byelection was released today, May 2, by Elections B.C.
Byelection winner Sheila Malcolmson of the B.C. New Democratic Party spent a total of $93,579 during the month-long campaign, which concluded Jan. 30. Malcolmson, who vacated her seat as federal MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith to run provincially, out-spent the next-highest-spending candidate by more than $35,000.
B.C. Liberal Party candidate and byelection runner-up, Tony Harris, who lost to Malcolmson by just under 2,400 votes, spent $57,675 during the campaign.
Green Party candidate Michelle Ney, who finished third in the polls, spent the third-highest amount, $44,830.
Robin Richards, leader of the Vancouver Island Party, spent $2,896 while B.C. Conservatives candidate Justin Greenwood spent just under $1,500. Bill Walker of the Libertarian Party spent a mere $246.
The spending figures are vastly different from the general election in 2017 when the B.C. Liberal candidate Paris Gaudet spent $100,807, outspending the New Democrats that year by nearly $27,000. Kathleen Harris, the Green Party candidate that year, only spent $5,644 according to Elections B.C.
When it came to political parties themselves, the New Democrats managed to raise the most money and they also spend the most during the byelection according to Elections B.C.
The NDP spent $184,928 and raised $286,957 while the Greens managed to spent $138,260 but only received $33,202 in donations. The Liberals spent $73,921 but received more than $208,000 in donations. Individually, the Vancouver Island Party, B.C. Conservatives and the Libertarian Party all spent under $10,000 and received less than $5,000 in donations.
January’s provincial byelection was triggered when longtime Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog vacated his seat last November after becoming mayor for the City of Nanaimo.