Campaign and candidate spending data from 2021 Scottish Parliament election

Wednesday 2 February 2022

The Electoral Commission has today published the campaign spending returns of political parties that spent over £250,000 campaigning at the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, and headline figures for the spending incurred and donations received by constituency and independent regional candidates.

Four political parties reported spending over £250,000 on campaigning during the regulated period, which ran from 6 January 2021 to polling day on 6 May 2021. Altogether these parties reported spending £4,438,542 on campaigning at the poll.

The parties that reported spending over £250,000 at the 2021 Scottish Parliament election

Party Expenditure
Scottish National Party (SNP) £1,468,343
Conservative and Unionist Party £1,359,435
Labour Party £1,176,410
Liberal Democrats £434,354

The Commission has previously published data for those that spent under £250,000. The full details of reported party spending are available on our website.

Constituency and independent regional candidates who stood in last year’s Scottish Parliament election submitted their spending returns to the relevant Returning Officer. We have published headline figures for the spending incurred and donations received on our website. Spending on behalf of party list candidates is included in the party returns.

Commenting on the returns, Louise Edwards, Director of Regulation, said:

”The Commission has now published all reported spending information from parties, campaigners and candidates relating to last year’s Scottish Parliament election. Delivering this transparency ensures voters are able to see clearly and accurately how money is spent on influencing them at this election.” 


For more information contact Sarah Mackie on 0131 225 0211, out of office hours 07789 920 414 or

Notes to editors

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, focusing 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

The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the Scottish, Welsh and UK Parliaments.

  1. Non-party campaigners must register with the Commission if they intend to spend more than £10,000 campaigning at the Scottish Parliament election during the regulated period.

Every political party that contested the Scottish Parliament election were required to submit campaign expenditure returns to the Electoral Commission, as well as non-party campaigners who spent over the registration thresholds. The deadlines for delivering spending returns depend on how much a party or campaigner spent.

Political parties and non-party campaigners that spent over £250,000 at the Scottish Parliament election were required to submit their returns by 6 November 2021. Returns for those that spent £250,000 or under were published on 25 October 2021.

The Commission has published the returns as they were submitted by the party or campaigner. Where appropriate, it will consider any inaccuracies or incomplete information in line with its Enforcement Policy.

  1. Election agents for constituency and independent regional candidates were required to deliver an election spending return to the relevant Constituency or Regional Returning Officer within 35 calendar days of the election result being declared.

All figures are rounded to the nearest £.