Thousands of people in Glasgow voted for candidates who existed in name only.

Reform UK, led by Richard Tice and Nigel Farage, polled more votes than the Conservatives in all six Glasgow seats.

Following speculation, however,  that a number of candidates across the UK did not exist as there were no candidate profiles or photos available, the party was accused of making up fake candidates.

(Image: PA)

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In Glasgow, of the six Reform UK candidates, three had no visible presence at all and were registered to addresses in England.

There were no biographies on the website or photographs and no one attended any campaign events.

(Image: Reform UK)

Reform UK has told the Glasgow Times why it fielded candidates who took no meaningful part in the election campaign.

When we approached Reform UK for an explanation they admitted it was a tactical move.

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A spokesperson for Reform UK told the Glasgow Times: “It’s as if these people have just come to politics in last six weeks and believe any conspiracy theory.

“There’s a long storied past of paper candidates, other parties have used them before."

The spokesperson admitted it was to grow support for the future and expects even more votes in 2026.

They added: “It’s reasonable to assume Reform will be picking up seats in Scotland, maybe not Glasgow.

“In the last five weeks we have doubled our membership nationally. We have more people who will be standing for us at Holyrood elections in 2026.”

The Glasgow Times spent the entire duration of the election count at the Emirates Arena on Thursday night through until the end of the results on Friday morning.

There was no evidence of any presence from Reform UK.

No-one was seen wearing Reform UK rosettes and no other candidates we spoke to had encountered Reform candidates or activists.

It is understood that no one from Reform engaged on the night in any of the official election procedures and when the results were declared there were no Reform UK candidates on the stage.

Reform UK has confirmed some of those who stood in the city were ‘paper candidates’ who existed in name only and did not, and were not expected to, campaign or take part in any election events.

They are on the ballot purely to allow people the opportunity to vote for Reform UK.

Helen Burns, who was the name on the ballot paper for Glasgow North lives in Leicestershire, Morag McRae lives in Derbyshire and Jonathan Walmsley, lives in Shropshire.

Burns got 1655 votes, McRae, 2236 and Walmsley 2272.


(Image: Reform UK)

It is possible that none of them even set foot in Glasgow during the campaign.

Three other candidates stood for the party, Dionne Moore in Glasgow West, Danny Raja in Glasgow South and Donnie McLeod in Glasgow East.

Moore, from Dunbartonshire, polled 2098 votes, Raje from Airdrie and Shotts, 1736 and McLeod of Glasgow got 2371 votes.

The process for standing involves either the candidate or election agent handing in their nomination papers, signed by at least 10 people in the area to the council.

In the case of the three candidates above it is understood the agent handed in the papers.

The agent for Burns, McRae and Walmsley is the same person, David Stark, from Cumbernauld.

He also used another address in Glasgow.

Stark was also the agent for Reform UK Candidates in Airdrie and Shotts and Cumbernauld and Kirkintilloch constituencies and was the actual Reform UK candidate in Rutherglen.

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council, said: “In order to stand, candidates need to complete nomination papers and pay a deposit.

"These can be handed in on their behalf by their agent.

"Candidates are not obliged to attend the count.”