Electoral Commission
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Electoral Commission publishes final party spending figures for the 2016 Scottish Parliament election

The Electoral Commission has yesterday published the campaign spending returns of the three political parties that spent over £250,000 campaigning at the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.

The three parties spending over £250,000 were:

  • Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Labour Party
  • Scottish National Party (SNP)

Parties who spent over £250,000 campaigning at the Scottish Parliament election were required to submit their independently audited spending returns by 5 November 2016.

The table below shows the campaign spending of those political parties spending more than £250,000 at the election.

Party Name


Conservative and Unionist Party


Labour Party


Scottish National Party (SNP)


Political parties contesting every constituency and region in Scotland had a maximum spending limit of £1,516,000.

Andy O’Neill, Head of the Electoral Commission in Scotland said: “The information we have published today completes the picture on campaign spending by political parties at the Scottish Parliament election. Voters can now see exactly how parties spent their money campaigning for their votes.”

Total spending

A total of nineteen parties contested at least one constituency or region in the Scottish Parliament election and the total reported spend was £3,335,901. This compares to £2,631,246 spent by the parties campaigning at the 2011 Scottish Parliament election.

Registered non-party campaigners were also required to submit a campaign expenditure return to the Commission.  Four non-party campaigners reported spending a total of £102,589 at the Scottish Parliament election.

Category of spending

Under the legislation, parties are required to report all spending against one of nine categories. The table below shows spending by category for all 19 parties that have reported spending at the election and the comparable figures from the 2011 election.


2016 Expenditure

2011 Expenditure

Party political broadcasts






Unsolicited materials



Manifesto and policy documents



Market research and canvassing



Press conferences/media






Rallies and other events



Overheads and general administration



The Commission published the details of the political parties and non-party campaigners who spent £250,000 or under at the Scottish Parliament election in September 2016 and you can see the press release for this publication on our website here.

Further details, including a breakdown of each party’s spending by category, and copies of individual invoices and receipts, are available on the Electoral Commission website here.

For more information please contact:

Sarah Mackie on 0131 225 0211
Out of office hours 07789 920414 
Email smackie@electoralcommission.org.uk

Notes to editors

  1. The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the  UK. We work to promote public confidence in the democratic process and ensure its integrity by:
  • enabling the delivery of free and fair elections and referendums, focussing on the needs of electors and addressing the changing environment to ensure every vote remains secure and accessible
  • regulating political finance – taking proactive steps to increase transparency, ensure compliance and pursue breaches
  • using our expertise to make and advocate for changes to our democracy, aiming to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency
  1. The thirteen political parties who reported spending £250,000 or less were:
  • A Better Britain – Unionist Party
  • Animal Welfare Party
  • Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship"
  • Clydesdale and South Scotland Independent
  • Communist Party
  • Co-operative Party
  • Liberal Democrats
  • National Front
  • RISE - Respect, Independence, Socialism and Environmentalism
  • Scottish Green Party
  • Scottish Libertarian Party
  • Solidarity - Scotland's Socialist Movement
  • Stronger Community Party
  • Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
  • UK Independence Party (UKIP)
  • Women's Equality Party
  1. Figures in this press release are rounded to the nearest £.


Channel website: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk

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