The maximum allowed, per constituency, is current just over £7,000, meaning that the SNP and Labour will spend about £14,000 and share 80% of the vote, with the other parties spending perhaps another £6,000 between them. So a total spend of £20,000.
Except that there is an exception to this general rule. Any political party can spend a total of £30,000 per constituency contested, on the wider -national - PR campaign.
It is with a huge degree of discomfort, nay disgust, that I see that the Scottish Christian Party are entering into the battle for the Western Isles constituency, and are using their full allowance of £30,000 in the one seat.
It may be within the law, but it is certainly not what was intended; to effectively allow one campaign to try to buy the seat by outspending the total of all the other parties by 50%.
That the SCP appear to be planning not on victory, but simply to unseat the SNP for being responsible for the introduction of Sunday ferries to Lewis, may to a very small extent change the perception from vainglorious self-aggrandisement by the Rev Hargreaves, to a deliberate "Anyone but the incumbent" campaign; and may give it some veneer of respectability, but it still leaves me with a distinctly unpleasant taste in my mouth.
Even allowing for paying for the open primary - election advertising in all but name - the lucky candidate will be spending more on general advertising in each of the months after their nomination than the main parties will spend in the whole campaign.
With the wider Christian community lining up behind the good Rev's plan, the successful outcome for the SCP is almost certain and I forecast that the SNP majority of 1,441 will be overturned and, subject only to a half-decent candidate for the SCP, a SNP loss is a virtual certainty, as the SCP will get 10-15% of the vote, just by virtue of their spending power.
One final thought for those who plan to participate in the open primary, or be active for the SCP, which comes from Proverbs 22:7, and seems entirely appropriate to the role of Rev Hargreaves: