IT may have taken almost seven months of tireless campaigning by The National in support of the Orkney four, but the Frenchgate case is coming closer to a resolution.

The Election Court, which is sitting in Edinburgh as a sub committee of the House of Commons, will conclude on Thursday, after which Lady Paton and Lord Matthews will prepare their verdict on whether or not Alistair Carmichael’s election in Orkney and Shetland should be re-run.

That is purely a matter for them and we would not attempt to pre-empt what their finding might be.

However, this is the first Election Court in Scotland in 50 years and the verdict will set a legal precedent.

One thing that is certain is the strength of public feeling that the action being taken by the four petitioners is the correct course. That sentiment is evidenced by the phenomenon that is their crowdfunding initiative. The initial appeal was 102 per cent funded after just a month. More contributions were sought when it became clear that the four did indeed have a case, and last night their total was a whisker off £128,000. By contrast, a similar appeal for Carmichael has stalled at less than £8,000.

Our legal system may be flawed – including the necessity to resort to crowdfunding – but at least people have some access to the law, even if they lack the financial means to see a case through to completion.

Alistair Carmichael ‘only told truth about memo leak five days after the General Election'

Alistair Carmichael has no chance to dodge the question as a witness in Election Court