United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership contender Danielle Smith has raised over $1 million for her bid to become Alberta’s next premier — more than the party raised in the first two financial quarters combined. 

On Monday, the Smith campaign announced it had raised $1,040,000 from 5,442 donations, with an average donation of $191.

This surpasses registered donations for the UCP in the first two quarters, but fell short of donations to the Alberta NDP.

“I am incredibly grateful to have the support of so many, and if I am privileged to become leader of the UCP on October 6, I look forward to serving all Albertans as premier,” Smith said in a statement. 

As previously reported by True North, former premier Rachel Notley’s NDP fundraised $1,430,164 in the second quarter, an increase of $393,012 from the first quarter.  Donations to the NDP in the first two quarters total $1,823,176.

The UCP came second with $521,175, a decrease of $366,799, totalling $887,974 for the first two financial quarters. 

The third financial quarter ends at the end of September and the results are typically released a month later. 

In spring 2023, the new UCP leader will face off with the NDP in a general election.

The drop in fundraising for the Conservatives can partly be attributed to the costly leadership race. The seven leadership candidates each raised $175,000 to run. The first $150,000 covers the cost of the leadership race, while the remaining $25,000 is a refundable deposit for compliance with the contest rules. 

In a statement accompanying the fundraising results, the campaign said Smith has focused on standing up for regular Albertans.

“Without question, (Smith) has felt you standing beside her every step of the way. We thank you and are sincerely humbled by your generosity, especially at a time when many people are feeling the pinch from increased living costs.”

UCP members have begun receiving their mail-in ballots. They must be returned by October 4 to be counted. 

There’s also the option to vote in-person on October 6 — the same day the leader will be announced. 

A Mainstreet Research survey conducted earlier this month found that Smith looks poised to win the Premiership with 44% support of party backers. 

Another 20% said they backed Brian Jean in the leadership race, followed by former finance minister Travis Toews with 19%, and 7% for Todd Loewen. Rebecca Schulz received 6%, Leela Aheer had 3% and Rajan Sawhney had 1%.

Author

  • Rachel Emmanuel

    Rachel is a seasoned political reporter who’s covered government institutions from a variety of levels. A Carleton University journalism graduate, she was a multimedia reporter for three local Niagara newspapers. Her work has been published in the Toronto Star. Rachel was the inaugural recipient of the Political Matters internship, placing her at The Globe and Mail’s parliamentary bureau. She spent three years covering the federal government for iPolitics. Rachel is the Alberta correspondent for True North based in Edmonton.

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