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Liberals, Tories rake in millions as NDP sees its donations plunge

NDP leadership contenders Kellie Leitch, pictured, Michael Chong and Maxime Bernier raised a combined $376,377 for their campaigns during the second quarter.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Conservatives and Liberals are duking it out for the title of federal fundraising champs while the NDP watches its donations dry up.

Financial reports filed with Elections Canada show the Conservative party, long the undisputed fundraising champion, raked in $5.07-million in the second quarter of 2016 from 37,223 donors.

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That was just marginally more than the ruling Liberals, who pulled in $4.9-million from 36,080 contributors.

The New Democratic Party, meanwhile, took in just $1.08-million from 15,906 donors.

The Liberals, who took power last October, are the only federal party so far this year to see donations – and the number of contributors – increase over the first six months of 2015, albeit only slightly.

The Tories are down about $3-million and the NDP is down more than $4-million.

The Conservatives' donor base has also shrunk, down about 8,000 from the second quarter of 2015, when all the parties were preparing for a summer election call.

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The NDP has lost two-thirds of its donor base, which topped 48,000 in the run-up to last year's election, when polls suggested the party was running ahead of the other two main parties.

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In the end, the NDP finished a distant third. Justin Trudeau's Liberals vaulted from third to first place, ending the Conservatives' nine years in power.

In addition to individual donations to the party, the Conservatives collected just over $28,000 in fees from leadership contestants during the second quarter.

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The three contenders who've formally declared thus far – Kellie Leitch, Michael Chong and Maxime Bernier – raised a combined $376,377 for their campaigns in the same period, with Leitch pulling in about 60 per cent of the cash.

The NDP is also in the midst of the leadership contest but no candidates have formally declared thus far.

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