Election expenses for the April 7, 2014 general election - The parties represented in the National Assembly spent about half the permitted limit

October 7, 2014

Quebec City, October 7, 2014 ––Lucie Fiset, Chief Electoral Officer of Québec, has made public the Summary of the returns of election expenses of the parties and candidates having run in the general election held on April 7, 2014. The figures appearing in this summary were taken from the returns of election expenses submitted to the Chief Electoral Officer by the official agents of the parties and the candidates.

The limit on the election expenses permitted for all of the political parties and candidates within the context of the April 7, 2014 general election stood at $53,604,283. However, the total reported election expenses incurred during the election period reached $18,062,731 or 33.7% of the permitted limit.

For the four parties represented in the National Assembly and their candidates, the limit on the election expenses permitted was $32,744,277 while reported election expenses are $17,502,032 representing 53.4% of the permitted limit.

In comparison, the limit on the election expenses permitted for all of the political parties and candidates for the September 4, 2012 general election was $81,232.106 and the reported expenses incurred totaled $20,383,804. This corresponds to 25.1 % of the limit. For the four parties represented in the National Assembly, the data from 2012 were respectively $46,071,194 and $20,112,398 for a percentage of 43.7%.

It should be recalled that for the April 7, 2014 general election, the election expenses of candidates were limited to $0.71 per elector registered on the list of electors. For a political party, the election expenses were limited to $0.66 per elector registered on the list of electors in all of the electoral divisions where this party had an official candidate. These limits decreased respectively by 42% and 7% compared to those of 2012, when those limits were, respectively, $1.23 and $0.71 per registered elector.

 

Election expenses of parties represented at the National Assembly

Here are some data concerning the election expenses of the four parties represented in the National Assembly for the April 7, 2014 general election:

Political party

Limit on election expenses permitted

Total expenses reported

% reported / permitted

Parti libéral du Québec/ Québec Liberal Party

 

 

Party: $3,968,210

($4,203,064 in 2012)

 

Party: $3,203,361

($3,083,773 in 2012)

 

80.7%

Candidates: $4,307,441

($7,333,797 in 2012)

 

Candidates: $2,668,608

($5,188,747 in 2012)

 

62.0%

Parti québécois

 

 

Party: $3,928,447

($4,203,064 in 2012)

 

Party: $3,925,856

($4,072,464 in 2012)

 

99.9%

Candidates: $4,264,666

($7,333,797 in 2012)

 

Candidates : $2,669,491

($3,274,751 in 2012)

 

62.6%

Coalition avenir Québec – L’équipe François Legault

 

 

Party: $3,873,725

($4,203,064 in 2012)

 

Party: $3,328,876

($3,040,594 in 2012)

 

85.9%

Candidates : $4,205,798

($7,333,797 in 2012)

 

Candidates : $0

($0 in 2012)

 

0%

Québec solidaire

Party: $3,929,833

($4,175,158 in 2012)

 

Party: $1,705,840

($1,452,069 in 2012)

43.4%

Candidates : $4,266,157

($7,285,453 in 2012) 

Candidates: $0

($0 in 2012)

0%

 

Advertising and rental of premises expenses

For all parties and candidates, advertising expenses represent nearly 49% of the total election expenses reported. Among the parties represented in the National Assembly, it is the Coalition avenir Québec – L’équipe François Legault and its candidates that devoted the largest portion of their election expenses to advertising, with approximately 56% of the total. The Parti québécois and its candidates devoted approximately 49 % of their expenses to advertising. Québec solidaire and its candidates invested approximately 47% in advertising, while the Québec Liberal Party allocated approximately 44% for this purpose.

It should be noted that the rental of premises represents approximately 3% of the election expenses of all parties and candidates.

The reimbursement of election expenses

The Chief Electoral Officer has already paid an advance on the reimbursement of the election expenses of parties and candidates, which corresponds to 35% of the limit on election expenses of candidates and of the amount estimated by the official agents of the parties. The amount of this advance totals $6,849,329.

Following a detailed audit of the returns of election expenses of the political parties and candidates, the necessary adjustments will be made so that the reimbursement equals 50% of the election expenses incurred and paid in accordance with the Election Act. The total reimbursement of election expenses should reach approximately $8,686,000, whereas it stood at approximately $9,854,000 in 2012. It should be noted that in order to obtain a reimbursement, a candidate must have been elected or have obtained at least 15% of the valid votes. In the case of a political party, it must have obtained at least 1% of the valid votes.

A downward trend

When we compare, in constant dollars, the election expenses reported during the general elections of 1998 up until those of April 7, 2014, for the four parties represented in the National Assembly, we can see that the trend shows a gradual decrease in these expenses. On this point, it is possible to consult two charts, available on the DGEQ’s website at the address http://electionsquebec.qc.ca/documents/pdf/depenses-electorales-comparatif-7avril2014.pdf.  Before 2013, the year in which limits on election expenses were lowered, the difference between election expenses permitted and reported was definitely on the rise.

By examining, in constant dollars, for these same parties, the amount of the reported election expenses per elector registered on the list of electors, we observe that for the PLQ and PQ, the downward trend is significant. In 2014, the amount per elector for these two parties is respectively $0.98 and $1.10.

However, from 1998 to 2014, we can see, for the CAQ/ADQ and QS, a reverse trend that follows the progression of the representativeness of each party in the National Assembly.

In connection with the report made public, you will find, in a chart available at the address http://electionsquebec.qc.ca/documents/pdf/tableau-financementpublic-7avril2014.pdf, details about the public funding available for the parties represented in the National Assembly. This funding makes it possible, in particular, to pay the election expenses made by the parties and their candidates and repay loans taken out for electoral purposes.

The Summary of the returns of election expenses of the parties and candidates having run in the general election held on April 7, 2014 is available on the DGEQ’s website at the address www.electionsquebec.qc.ca.

 

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Categories : Provincial, Provincial financing, DGE, General election 2014