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First pre-poll donations and loans report at Scottish Independence Referendum published

Published: 8 Jul 2014

Almost £4 million (£3,965,595) in donations to registered campaigners at the Scottish Independence Referendum have been reported to the Electoral Commission. This is the first time voters anywhere in the UK will have had access to such information before a referendum.

Under the Scottish Independence Referendum Act, registered campaigners must complete four pre-poll reports setting out what donations and loans they have received over £7,500 between commencement of the Act (18 December 2013) and 5 September 2014.

The first pre-poll report covers the period from 18 December 2013 to 26 June 2014. There were six registered campaigners with reportable donations.

Outcome: Yes

  • Business for Scotland Ltd - £199,120
  • Christians for Independence - £100,000
  • Yes Scotland Limited (designated lead campaigner) - £1,160,000

Outcome: No

  • Better Together 2012 Ltd (designated lead campaigner) – £2,406,475
  • Mr Angus MacDonald - £25,000
  • No Borders Campaign - £75,000

Thirteen registered campaigners submitted a declaration that they had no reportable donations. All registered campaigners submitted their information on time.

One loan of £15,000 and one credit facility of £10,000 were also reported.

View details of all reportable donations and loans to registered campaigners

Registered campaigners are limited as to how much they can spend during the formal ‘referendum period’ (which began on 30 May and runs until the close of poll on 18 September). Designated lead campaigners have a maximum spending limit of £1.5 million each. Other registered campaigners have a spending limit of £150,000.

Political parties are not required to submit pre-poll donation and loans reports to the Electoral Commission. The spending limits for political parties represented in the Scottish Parliament are:

  • Scottish National Party - £1,344,000
  • Scottish Labour Party - £831,000
  • Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party - £399,000
  • Scottish Liberal Democrats - £204,000
  • Scottish Green Party - £150,000


For further information contact Karim Aziz in the Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704 or kaziz@electoralcommission.org.uk

Out of office hours 07789 920 414

Notes to editors

  1. The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. Our aim is integrity and public confidence in the UK’s democratic process. We regulate party and election finance and set standards for well-run elections and are responsible for the conduct and regulation of referendums held under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (2000). The Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013 gave the Commission a number of responsibilities for the Scottish independence referendum for which we report directly to the Scottish Parliament.
  2. The date for pre-poll donations and loans publications are:

    Reporting period
    Deadline for pre-poll reports
     Date Electoral Commission will publish donations
    18  December 2013 – 26 June 2014
    Thursday 3 July
    Tuesday 8 July
    27 June – 24 July
    Thursday 31 July
    Tuesday 5 August
    25 July – 21 August
    Thursday 28 August
    Tuesday 2 September
    22 August – 5 September
    Friday 12 September
    Monday 15 September
  3. There were 26 registered campaigners with the Electoral Commission as at 3 July 2014. Seven registered campaigners were political parties and report their donations and loans to the Electoral Commission on a quarterly basis. The next publication of quarterly donations to political parties will be on 13 August 2014. A full list of registered campaigners can be seen here.
  4. For more information about the rules regarding donations and loans at the Scottish Independence Referendum, see our media handbook here.
  5. The figures reported by campaigners have been rounded to the nearest £. Exact figures are available on our website.