AEC political donations data: Abbott costs Liberals

By Bernard Keane

February 1, 2016

Australia’s major political parties earned over $170 million in 2014-15 — well down on the 2013-14 election year — as federal politics took a back seat to hard-fought state election campaigns, the annual release of political donation and party finance data by the Australian Electoral Commission shows.

The Liberals, state and federally, earned just over $58 million, the Liberal National Party another $18.4 million and the Nationals $11 million. Labor’s branches jointly earned just under $65 million, while the Greens’ branches earned $8.5 million.

The New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland branches were the big earners for all the parties as they chased donations ahead of election campaigns and received public funding afterward. In NSW, the Liberal Party earned over $20 million from donations and public funding, while the Victorian Liberals earned nearly $22 million.

“The NSW, Victoria and Queensland branches were the big earners for all the parties …”

All spent up big on election campaigns: the NSW Liberals invested just under $20 million securing a strong victory for Mike Baird, while the Victorian Liberals spent over $24 million losing to Daniel Andrews. Campbell Newman’s party spent nearly $20 million gambling and losing on a January election in Queensland.

Victorian Labor can pat itself on the back: while it earned considerably less than their opponents — just over $14 million — they only spent $15 million and claimed government. Similarly, Queensland Labor spent far less than Newman’s LNP — just $13.8 million — and emerged not merely with government but with a sizeable surplus. It had debts of just $210,000.

In NSW, it was an different story. Labor threw everything but the kitchen sink at Baird in an election it was never going to win. NSW Labor spent $19.7 million, nearly the same as the Liberals, while earning only $17.5 million (the NSW Libs were helped by an $8 million spend by the Nationals).

Read the full article — and more on the AEC declarations — at Crikey

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