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Disclosure of individual election expenses "not appropriate"

Disclosure of individual election expenses

Wednesday 05 May 2021

Disclosure of individual election expenses "not appropriate"

Wednesday 05 May 2021


Individual spending in the 2020 General Election is unlikely to ever be published, with SACC saying election expenses are not government information and do not qualify for an Access to Public Information request.

The States Assembly and Constitution Committee will need to submit the Registrar-General's Report into the historic 2020 election within 12 months of it taking place.

The report should be revealed at the June States meeting, according to recent discussions around the SACC Committee table. 

election count 2020

Pictured: Guernsey's first island-wide election took place on 7 October last year to elect 38 States Deputies. 

An Access to Public Information request has now revealed some of the information we can expect from the report. 

People who spent the least on their campaigns were the least likely to win a seat, with just 3 of the 35 candidates who spent £500 or less elected. The majority of candidates (98) spent less than half of the permitted maximum of £6,000.

All candidates were able to promote themselves in the States' combined manifesto and online videos, which has been given an estimate value of around £6,000. 

Each party was capped at a combined £9,000 between their members and all three parties – the Alliance Party Guernsey, the Guernsey Party and the Guernsey Partnership of Independents - kept below this limit.

Election Postal Voting Form

Pictured: 119 people stood for election in 2020. Three of those did not submit returns, none of whom were elected. 

There have been calls for individual expenditure to be released, however, this appears unlikely to happen unless the information is volunteered. 

“The Reform (Guernsey) Law, 1948 does not expressly provide for the disclosure of the expenditure of individual candidates or parties,” said a written response from SACC. 

“In the absence of such provision it would not be appropriate to share this information without explicit consent."

"Furthermore, as information provided to the Central Returning Officer for the purposes of scrutinising election expenditure and paying grants after the election, strictly speaking the information requested is not government information and does not therefore meet the requirements of an API request."

Screenshot_2021-05-04_at_15.39.21.png

Pictured: Only five people came close to spending the maximum allowed on their campaign.

We can expect further details on election expenditure when SACC submits a policy letter covering the election reports. This is expected to be published in the next week. 

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