Want to start a political party? some thoughts.


The hardest part is getting a name that describes your aims AND meets with the approval of the Electoral Commission.
If we get a name sorted out then we need to get it known. one way would be to put names forward for Council Elections. Usually about May 5th, you can get candidate packs from the Town Hall mid_April.
You have to submit a nomination form (in the pack) signed by 10 elector’s from the ward that you wish to stand in.
You don’t have to do anything else, apart from fill in a few more forms).
The main point is that you get your party name on the ballot form, where it will be seen by all voters.
Any media coverage such as the local paper must give equal access to all candidates. They may only list the candidates and their parties but, Usually, they will offer you a chance to make a brief statement.
So you’ve got your party name into the public domain at minimal cost.

If you want to make a go of it, you’ll have to start recording your expenses and check that you don’t overspend.(details in the pack).
A point to note here is that your expenses record only has to start from the day that your candidacy is agreed.
That’s why Council repairs, road mending, cleaning etc. occur around March, at the same time as Councillor’s increase their photo oppportunities, giving out certificates to school children etc.

On the plus side, if you get elected, there’s a wage of ~£11,000 attached, which would be useful for campaigning and you’ll be able to access photo opportunities by contacting school’s and businesses in your ward.
On the negative side campaigning is expensive for the individual. You can ask for donations from altruists, so long as you record them.

The large established parties have “benefactor’s” and can rely on generic advertising, economy of scale and accumulated resources.
I.e. they will have donations from those with reason to be grateful for past favours.
The media tends to concentrate on the main parties (political editors may have got their degrees from the same courses as the career politicians, they write about.
Whereas an individual might buy himself a laser printer, the big parties will have fully equipped offices with secretaries etc. established MP’s will also have taxpayer paid secretaries (often a spouse). Whilst an individual will only have a copy of the electoral roll. candidates of the large parties will have access to databases of likely supporters and auto-diallers to make personal contact, without wasting shoe leather.

A new party can achieve economy of scale by putting out generic leaflets
For example in Wigan there are 25 wards, so the party would have to have 25 candidates
A single leaflet shot in one council ward (300,000 voters means 12,000 voters in each Ward so about 6,000 homes) can cost
about £100 for the absolute cheapest. However a generic mailshot for all Wigan might only be £400.

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