Lib Dems and SNP spent £160,000 on by-election expenses

The Scottish Liberal Democrats and SNP spent more than £160,000 on election expenses during the Shetland by-election.

The bulk of the £163,492 spent by the two parties came from the SNP, which had expenses approaching the £100,000 limit for a by-election (£98,958.48).

This compares to the Lib Dems, who spent £64,533.95 running their campaign, which saw their candidate Beatrice Wishart returned as MSP after the August vote.

The SNP’s Tom Wills (left) and by-election winner Beatrice Wishart. Photo: Dave Donaldson

In a by-election widely seen as a two-horse race, these amounts dwarf those incurred by other parties and candidates, including mainstream parties such as Scottish Labour and the Conservative and Unionist Party.

Labour spent £4,088.07, while the Conservatives’ expenses were more than four times this at £18,262.81.

Ukip’s expenses totalled £1,985.29 and the Scottish Greens’ campaign cost £1,441.77.

While the SNP spent the most of any party or candidate, independent candidate Ryan Thomson, who polled third, had the second lowest expenses at only £82.04, all spent on advertising.

Election expenses, which parties and candidates running in by-elections have to declare, are made up of advertising, unsolicited material, transport, public meetings, agents and other staff costs and accommodation and administration.

Candidates who took part in the August by-election included Johan Adamson, Scottish Labour; Brydon Goodlad, Scottish Conservative; Stuart Martin, Ukip; Debra Nicolson, Scottish Green; Ian Scott, Independent; Michael Stout, Independent; Peter Tait, Independent; Ryan Thomson; Independent; Tom Wills, SNP; Beatrice Wishart, Scottish Liberal Democrats.


Add Your Comment
  • John Tulloch

    • October 15th, 2019 10:20

    Gosh! The SNP burned £100k in a no hope constituency!

    They must be really desperate to win the levers of power in Shetland so that they can block any bids for autonomy that may arise from a Scottish independence Yes vote with a Shetland “No”.

    Voters in the forthcoming SIC by elections should keep in mind that if the SNP ever wins a majority in the council, they can wave goodbye to any hope of increased local powers.


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