No supporters outspent Yes campaigners in indyref

CAMPAIGNERS against independence outspent Yes supporters by more than £1.5 million as a result of donations made during last year’s referendum.

BetterTogether spent £1,422,602 while Yes Scotland spent £1,420,800. Picture: Jane Barlow

Figures made available by the Electoral Commission show that a total of £7,139,747 was donated to the Yes and No causes by individuals, who gave more than £500 to the campaigns.

Of the £7,139,747, £4,327,677 went to No and £2,812,070 went to Yes.

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The record of referendum donations confirmed that the Harry Potter author J K Rowling gave £1 million to Better Together and the £1 million donated to Yes Scotland by the lottery winners Colin and Chris Weir.

The official campaign for a No vote, Better Together, spent £1,422,602 on its campaign effort while its rival Yes Scotland spent £1,420,800 in the regulated period, from May 30 until September 18 2014.

During this period, the SNP spent £1,298,567, Labour spent £732,482 and the Conservatives spent £356,191.

Those spending more than £250,000 were required to submit an independently-audited return to the commission by March 18, 2015.

Campaigners spent the largest amounts on advertising, which totalled £1,884,396, and unsolicited material to electors, such as leaflets, coming in at £1,857,414.

Other costs included overheads and general administration, transport, rallies and events, market research, media and campaign broadcasts.

As part of their spending return, campaigners were also required to report details of all individual donations of a value over £7,500 accepted from December 18, 2013.

They were also required to report a combined total for any donations accepted of a value between £500 and £7,500.

Campaigners reported donations in four pre-poll reports ahead of the September 18 vote.