THE first stop in my hunt for Reform UK’s so-called “ghost candidates” in Glasgow was the office of David Stark.

The Reform candidate for Rutherglen was listed as the election agent for three of them.

Helen Burns, Morag McRae and Jonathan Walmsley ran for Reform in Glasgow North, Glasgow South West and Glasgow North East respectively – amassing thousands of votes in the process.

But they weren’t seen campaigning in their constituencies, nor did they attend hustings or the final count according to some of their competitors.

WATCH: Tracking down Reform UK ghost candidates in Glasgow

I went up the stairs to – according to Glasgow City Council documents – Stark’s office in Glasgow’s Pollockshields in an attempt to find out more.

Interestingly, this also led me past the entrance to Alba’s base in Glasgow (below) – with Alba campaign material and leaflets stacked just alongside. 

I spoke with an Alba official who told me they had no knowledge of the Reform presence. 

(Image: NQ)

I knocked on the door at the end of the corridor. No answer.

Walking back into the rain-drenched street, I wondered whether it was right that it was so difficult to find the smallest amount of information on people who just ran for public office.

It comes amid a lot of speculation on social media about dozens of candidates which Reform stood at the election and are listed on the Nigel Farage-led party’s election website only showing their name and the constituency they stood in, without any information about them, or contact details beyond a generic regional email address.

Now, to be clear – there has been no evidence to suggest any Reform candidates aren’t actually real. The party has admitted some were so-called “paper candidates” who did no campaigning, and were there simply to help increase the party’s vote share.

Under electoral rules, the only details that need to be given about the candidate is their full name and the constituency where they live. They also have to be nominated by 10 local voters and have an electoral agent.

When I finally tracked down Stark (below), I was hopeful he would give me some answers but I shouldn’t have been.

(Image: NQ)

“I dont know,” he told me from the doorstep of his residential home in Cumbernauld after asking him whether he knew if any of them had ever been to the city.

“But they’re paper candidates,” he added before admitting that he had also “never met” any of them.

“They've got votes. It gives people a chance to vote Reform,” Stark went on.

“We had two weeks to organise 57 candidates in Scotland. Inevitably, some of them were paper candidates.

“Various people who were chosen were away on holiday or business and we had to substitute with other people. That's just what happens. I'm sure other parties have done the same thing.”

In fairness, paper candidates, who stand little chance of winning and therefore don’t campaign, are not uncommon in UK politics.

But on the scale of Reform, who secured 14% of the vote – third place UK-wide? A party that potentially decided the end result of so many seats? And with that little identifying information for prospective voters?

Reform UK have been approached for comment.