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Revealed: How much each political party spent on 2017 General Election

By Jonathan Bell

Parties and individuals campaigning in Northern Ireland for the 2017 snap General Election spent almost £500,000 on the campaign trail, it has been revealed.

Combined the parties reported a spend of almost £120,000 with Sinn Fein spending the most.

The republican party spent £28,000, just over £6,000 more than rivals the DUP.

Second biggest spenders on the list was the Conservative Party which spent £27,000.

Northern Ireland political party spend on 2017 General Election.

Eleven political parties campaigned in Northern Ireland during the 2017 UK general election with 109 candidates on the ballot papers for the 18 seats.

And in the result, the DUP came out with 10 MPs, which have since gone on to secure a confidence and supply deal to prop up Theresa May's government with Sinn Fein taking seven seats. The final Northern Ireland seat went to independent Sylvia Hermon.

The election result was historic as not only did it cement the place of Sinn Fein and the DUP as Northern Ireland's biggest parties, but it also wiped out the SDLP and the UUP in the Commons.

Ann Watt, head of the Electoral Commission Northern Ireland, said: “Most candidates, parties and campaigners comply with the rules. However, failures to comply can reduce transparency and damage voters’ confidence in elections, which is why breaches must be dealt with effectively.

"We also want to work with the UK’s governments and legislatures to ensure further transparency about spending on digital and online campaigns, and reassure voters accordingly. These changes should be in place ahead of the scheduled elections in 2021 and 2022.”

Theresa May called a snap General Election in June to try and secure a strong majority in the Commons in order to work through the Brexit process. A strong campaign from Jeremy Corbyn saw the Conservatives lose 13 seats and Labour increase by 32.

The change in the Commons saw the DUP's 10 MPs kingmakers. A £1.5bn deal was secured by the party in order to support the government.

Arlene Foster and Theresa May look on as DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson signs paperwork with Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury Gavin Williamson inside 10 Downing Street
DUP’s 10 MPs outside the Houses of Parliament
Sinn Fein’s MPs at the House of Commons

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