2021 Scottish Parliament candidate spending

About the data

At the May 2021 Scottish Parliament election, there were 369 constituency and independent regional candidates who had to submit a spending return, listing details of what they spent during the election campaign. The dataset includes the headline figures for the spending incurred and donations received by candidates at the 2021 Scottish Parliament election. We publish these figures to enhance transparency and provide voters with information on donations to candidates’ election campaigns and their spending and to ensure that this information can be seen together in one place. The full individual candidate returns are available for public scrutiny from the relevant Returning Officers  for a period of two years after an election.

The returns include the total the candidate spent, as well as a breakdown of how much they spent on things like advertising, transport and public meetings. They also include any donations the candidate received above £50 during the short campaign.

The data taken from the spending returns reflects what candidates and their agents submitted to Returning Officers in Scotland. We publish this information exactly as it appears on the candidate’s return so that there is an accurate record of what was reported. Spending limits vary between constituencies.

The vast majority of Returning Officers have sent us the returns submitted to them for inclusion in this dataset. Where information is missing, this may be because the Returning Officer didn’t send them on to us, or because the candidate didn’t submit their return to the Returning Officer.

Under the law spending on promoting regional party list candidates counts as party spending, and was therefore reportable by the party in its election spending return.

Information about candidate spending data for previous devolved elections is available online in the National Archive.

2021 Scottish Parliament candidate spending