Candidates in the recent Fermanagh and Omagh District Council election spent a combined total of £57,891.20 on their campaigns.

Susan Glass, a Green party candidate in Omagh who didn’t get elected, spent the most of any candidates on her election campaign - £1,222.00, less than £5.00 shy of her expenditure limit.

The UUP’s Alex Baird, who was re-elected to the council for the Erne West District Electoral Area (DEA), spent £1,130.00, just £2.35 less than the total amount he was permitted to spend.

The candidates' expenditure included money used for all of the following:

  • Advertising of any kind. For example, posters, newspaper adverts, websites or Youtube videos.
  • Unsolicited material sent to voters. For example, letters, leaflets or emails sent that weren’t in response to specific queries.
  • Transport costs. For example, hire cars or public transport for candidates or their campaigners.
  • Public meetings.
  • Staff costs. For example, an agent’s salary, or staff seconded to a candidate by their employer (volunteer campaign time was not included).
  • Accommodation. For example, a campaign office.
  • Administrative costs. For example, telephone bills, stationery, photocopying and the use of databases.

A spokesperson for Fermanagh and Omagh Council said: "Candidates can declare personal expenses incurred as part of their election campaign but this amount is not included in the total spend on the election campaign.

"Funds for campaigns are either from the candidate themselves or donations, including political party donations."

The amount candidates were permitted to spend on their election campaigns varied depending on the electorate size of the DEA they were running in.

The number of candidates a party put up in a single DEA also impacted how much a candidate could spend on a campaign.

For instance, in the Erne West DEA, with the smallest electorate of any in Fermanagh and Omagh, the total amount any single candidate could spend was £1,132.35.

Meanwhile, Enniskillen DEA has the largest electorate in this council area and its single candidate spending limit was £1,240.45.

Furthermore, if a party put up two candidates (known as joint candidates) in Enniskillen, these individuals could spend no more than £930.34. Candidates whose parties put up any more than two individuals to run in Enniskillen could spend less again - £826.97.

The Council spokesperson said: "Expenditure limits are based on the number of electors within the DEA and this is reduced where parties have more than one candidate in a DEA."

It was also confirmed by Fermanagh and Omagh Council that candidates are required to submit a return to the deputy returning officer within 35 days of the declaration of the election result, outlining details of their spending at the election.

All 75 candidates at the election complied with this deadline.