SNP candidates are using crowdfunding drives to help the election battle against parties being “bankrolled by big money donors”. More than 40 appeals have been launched on a dedicated page for the SNP on the Crowdfunder site, including by high-profile names such as Ian Blackford, Joanna Cherry and Mhairi Black.

Politicians from Scottish Labour and the Scottish Greens have also launched fundraising drives on the site, which saw nearly £700,000 raised by all candidates and parties during the snap election in 2017.

SNP MP Joanna Cherry has attracted the largest sum of donations to date – with more than £9000 raised out of a target of £11,000. The Edinburgh South West seat which is defending is the most marginal in Edinburgh.

A message on her page said donations were being used to target “undecided voters”.

She added: “With your help, I can do more and win this key marginal seat against the Tories.”

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has also run a successful appeal, raising more than £6700 with an extended “stretch” target now of £8000.

His appeal says Ross, Skye and Lochaber is a “crucial battleground” in this election, with the LibDems throwing “leaflet after leaflet” at the constituency.

He added: “If we reach our stretch target we will be able to distribute a further two leaflets throughout the constituency.”

Other high-profile SNP candidates who are crowdfunding include Stephen Gethins, Dr Philippa Whitford, Alyn Smith, Pete Wishart, Tommy Sheppard, Alison Thewliss and Kenny MacAskill.

Appeal pages state that while local campaigns will be funded by branch funds, help is needed to “win and to finance the best campaign possible”.

There are also concerns raised over competing against the spending by parties funded by wealthy donors or trade unions.

The fundraising page for Fergus Mutch, who is a candidate for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, and has exceeded the target of £3000,

stated: “The Tories will throw the kitchen sink at this campaign. We need all the resources we can muster.”

Alison Thewliss, who is defending her seat in Glasgow Central, said: “We don’t have big money donors who can bankroll us on a whim – we rely on grassroot donations from people like you.”

Richard Arkless, who is standing for Dumfries & Galloway, said donations would be used to help fund materials for activists on the campaign trail.

He said: “We know that we will be outspent but we won’t be outfought; this election campaign will be won by the hard work of activists.”

PAISLEY and Renfrewshire North candidate Gavin Newlands outlined how some of the funding could help – including £10 for 300 stickers for activists to wear, £50 to send out election leaflets to 2000 homes and £100 to advertise on social media.

He said: “The SNP has no business donors, no trade unions, no tax haven slush finds supporting our campaign – every single penny we raise and spend comes from you, our members and supporters.”

Nearly 20 Scottish Labour candidates have also launched crowdfunding appeals on the site, including high-profile names such as Lesley Laird, the shadow Scottish secretary.

Ian Murray, who is running again for Edinburgh South despite a union attempt to oust him, is seeking to raise £2500.

Other Scottish Labour candidates on fundraising drives include Paul Sweeney, for Glasgow North East and Danielle Rowley, for Midlothian.

Scottish Green candidates and local groups have also launched a number of crowdfunders.

Fife Greens has a target of at least £1000 which is hopes will cover the deposits for candidates Mags Hall and Scott Rutherford.

Edinburgh Greens launched an appeal to build up the campaign fund ahead of the election being called which stated: “We know we will need thousands of pounds to compete with the big party machines.”

There are rules around campaign spending in the run-up to an election, including a a cap of £30,000 for each constituency which a party contests.

The Electoral Commission has guidance on crowdfunders for candidates which states sums of under £50 are not considered “donations” and do not need to be reported unless there are multiple donations from the same source.

It also states sufficient information must be collected from every donor to ensure it is from a “permissible source”, such as a UK voter, UK-registered company or trade union.

A spokeswoman for the Electoral Commission said it is fine for crowdfunding to be used by candidates as long as they are able to check that “any donations are permissible.”

An SNP spokesperson said: “The SNP has always been reliant on small donations made by its members and supporters.

‘‘In recent years, crowdfunding has been a successful way to reach out to supporters allowing them to donate easily to local campaigns.

“Our greatest electoral asset has always been our local activists who campaign tirelessly, but we fully recognise that our opponents can use money from big donors to try to outspend us, or to bus in campaigners from elsewhere.

“We’re very grateful for each and every penny that supporters donate.”