THE SNP spent nearly £100,000 on the Shetland by-election this summer in its bid to end decades of Liberal Democrat dominance in the isles.
Data on election spending shows that the party spent nearly £99,000 on its campaign to have Tom Wills elected as Shetland’s new MSP.
By-elections have a spending limit of £100,000.
A long list of SNP government ministers visited Shetland during the campaign but their trips were funded by the party and not the government.
An SNP spokesperson said it was “no secret that we put all our effort into the election and we gave the Lib Dems a real run for their money in Scotland’s safest seat”.
They added that the party will be heading into the upcoming Shetland Central council by-election, which will see Stewart Douglas stand for the SNP, with the “same gusto as we did in the summer”.
While the SNP came second in the vote, the winners – the Liberal Democrats, who put forward Beatrice Wishart – spent around £64,534.
The Lib Dems secured 5,659 votes – or 47.86 per cent – while the SNP gained 3,822 (32.32 per cent).
The Scottish Conservatives shelled over £18,000 to gain 425 votes, while Labour – which secured 152 votes – spent just over £4,000.
UKIP’s spend totalled around £1,985, while the Greens’ bill came to £1,442.
Independent candidate Ryan Thomson, who finished third with 1,286 votes, spent just over £82.
Fellow independent Peter Tait shelled out £1,615 on his campaign, which only received 31 votes, while Michael Stout spent around £462.
The lowest spend was independent candidate Ian Scott, whose outlay was £74.13. He spent just over £1 for each vote he received.
Over £217,000 was spent in total in the run-up to the 29 August by-election, which was called after Tavish Scott resigned for the seat he has held for 20 years.
A total of ten candidates stood in the election.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 440 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News