Claire Trevena’s successful bid to retain her seat as North Island MLA cost her $70,087, according to Elections BC.
But Trevena’s victory cost her $9,477.65 less than her closest opponent, Nick Facey of the BC Liberals, whose total election expenditures were $79,564.65.
Trevena also had more money to play with. Her total election income was $97,333. Facey’s was $62,211.48, leaving his war chest with a deficit of $17,353.17, according to Elections BC’s 2013 General Election Financing Report which is available online at http://contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/Options.aspx
Finishing third in the May 14 general election on the North Island was BC Conservative Party candidate Bob Bray who also spent the least – a total of $7,380.38. He received $7,120.11 in income.
Trevena won the election with 11,885 votes compared to Facey’s 9,883 and Bray’s 1,675. That amounts to $5.90 a vote. Facey spent $8 a vote. Bray’s votes cost him $4.40 each.
There are “lies, damned lies and statistics,” the saying goes, but what election expense data might tell you could well be as interpretive.
However, information in the North Island financing report contains some interesting details. For example, Facey’s financial sources were more varied than Trevena’s.
Facey received $17,300 in campaign contributions from individuals and corporations while the BC Conservative Party pumped $44,661.48 into the North Island constituency association’s war chest.
Trevena received a total of $18,487 in political contributions. As you would expect, zero of it was from corporations and only $1,097 of it was from individuals. Trevena’s biggest contributors were trade unions, which contributed $3,401, and “other identifiable contributions” (the N.I. NDP constituency association and others) which pumped $13,889 into the campaign coffers.
Trevena was supported by her party to a more significant degree than Facey. The BC NDP gave Trevena $78,596.
As for significant expenses, Trevena spent the biggest chunk of money on “promotional material” (signs, brochures, etc.) – $29,526. Facey spent $11,115.34. On media advertising, Trevena spent $5,659, significantly less than Facey who spent $26,052.98.
Facey also spent $6,873.02 on research and polling, on which Trevena spent zero, and Facey spent $2,364.37 on travel while Trevena spent $481.
Province-wide, the B.C. Liberals spent $11.75 million on their way to a come-from-behind victory, outspending the B.C. NDP’s $9.4 million.
Corporate contributors gave $5 million in donations to the Liberals, followed by individuals at $2.4 million, unincorporated businesses at $420,000 and $385,000 from other sources.
The NDP got nearly $2.6 million from individuals, $2.5 million from trade unions and $2.1 million from corporations. The Green Party of B.C. spent just $180,000, while the B.C. Conservative Party listed $155,000 in expenses.