Radio New Zealand Political Editor Brent Edwards is reporting that National is denying it has donation problems and is pointing to the fact that it’s already raised more this year than it did in 2008 (sorry – no link for the 2008 comparison, I heard it on the wireless).
Raising more money in a middle year than in the last election year might seem like a bit of a triumph but this is more a case of comparing apples with oranges.
That’s because in 2008 the Electoral Finance Act was in place and with it came much greater transparency for donations.
National and its backers saw that this was happening and responded by getting the big money in early. You can see this in the year on year donations:
What you can also see is the fact National hasn’t exactly been raking it in. In fact in the two years since the election they appear to have only gathered $369,000 – that’s less than a fifth of what National spent on the 2008 election and with a July election looking more and more likely it means they’ve got a lot of money to find in just 12 months.
And the returns for party donations exceeding $20k (which have to be lodged within 10 days) also show that the large business donations haven’t come in at all.
I imagine that this will change now Key is giving business the wage-lowering law it’s been pushing for since the Nats gained power.