Bbc News United Kingdom Uk Politics

By Brian WheelerPolitical reporter, BBC News

New political parties seem to be springing up anywhere in the intervening time.

At least three were shaped to combat the European elections on four June. They have clearly not been take away by means of the dismal file of small events in breaking the stranglehold of the political establishment.

Declan Ganley is the modern-day high profile determine to set up his personal party

Perhaps they dream of emulating the United Kingdom Independence Party, which broke thru into 0.33 region within the 2004 euro elections, or the Scottish Socialist Party, which received six seats within the Scottish Parliament a yr earlier (best to lose them all at the next election).

Both of those events benefited highly from proportional illustration, which is what makes the European elections this sort of fertile breeding ground for new political ventures.

So simply how smooth is it to form a new party? And what are the probabilities of achievement? Here is a short guide to doing it yourself.


This is trickier than you would possibly think.

You can’t use a call that is already registered with the Electoral Commission, or one which sounds an excessive amount of like every other birthday party or is considered obscene. It can not be longer than six words both.

Even a celeb name does not guarantee success

Nationalistic sentiments also are frowned upon. You cannot call your birthday party the British Party or the Scottish Party – it have to be certified by another phrase inside the name, subsequently the United KingdomIndependenceParty or the BritishNationalParty. You can’t name your self the Official Party both or, indeed, the Unofficial Party. Royal names, which include Queen or Her Majesty, also are strictly forbidden and you cannot try and coins in at the apathy vote by calling your celebration “none of the above”. That is banned too. The full regulations are on the Electoral Commission website.


If you want to use your new party name on a poll paper, you will need to check in with the Electoral Commission. That manner delivering a fee of £one hundred fifty, drawing up a celebration charter and a economic announcement and nominating a pacesetter and a treasurer. Electoral Commission group of workers will help with the paperwork.

You also can sign in up to a few party emblems and as much as 12 descriptions of what the party stands for, which can be used on ballotpapers.


Now it begins to get exciting. This is your threat to set out your thoughts for a higher global.

Although, strictly talking, you do not really need a manifesto to fight the European elections, as you aren’t really bidding to form a government.

Bob Crow’s new birthday party does no longer need to ship MEPs to Brussels

The Jury Team, the celebration installation by using former Tory grandee Sir Paul Judge “to result in radical alternate whilst working within the established charter” has not were given any policies. Anyone can put themselves forward as a candidate, and come up with rules, and the public will choose who ought to stand as a candidate.

Other events use the European elections in basic terms as a way of gaining interest for their political campaigns and gathering protest votes.

No2EU, the celebration fashioned via trade union boss Bob Crow, says it’s going to no longer take in seats in Brussels, in protest at what it sees as the corrupt EU “gravy teach”. If there may be a groundswell of assist for their position they may remodel the celebration into a campaign towards EU directives being integrated into British law.


Campaigning can be a high-priced commercial enterprise. But earlier than you may even consider printing leaflets or buying advertising area, there is the small remember of deposits.

To stand on this 12 months’s European elections will fee £5,000 in step with place – 10 instances the quantity demanded at a standard election. So to run a countrywide marketing campaign with applicants in all 12 areas will cost as a minimum £65,000. Candidates will get the money again if they advantage 2.five% of the vote of their region. But this is no small success. Or, if you want to trim your prices, you may qualify for a party election broadcast in England on the BBC or ITV by means of setting up applicants in the nine regions (cost £45,000). You can get party election declares in Scotland and Wales – which rely as one region every – for £five,000 every.


Most new events want to be visible as real grass roots actions. But to stand a chance of taking over the large parties, small donations are possibly no longer going to be sufficient. Everyone would really like to do a Barack Obama, who raised thousands and thousands in small donations for his US Presidential marketing campaign however, in reality, you are probable going to need find a few wealthy backers.


One of the thrill of beginning a new celebration is which you do now not need to recruit candidates from the ranks of professional politicians. You can cast your internet wider and produce in humans who’ve not always been compromised by the prevailing system. But you will additionally want to select folks that are not going to embarrass your new party or deliver it the wrong sort of publicity.

Libertas, the pan-European eurosceptic party formed by Declan Ganley, the millionaire businessman in the back of the successful ‘no’ campaign inside the latest Irish EU treaty referendum, is currently holding a formal choice method and says everybody is welcome to place their name ahead.

But it additionally grills could-be applicants on its website on their political opinions and media abilties to weed out any unfastened cannons. Among the listing of questions is that this puzzler: “A journalist asks you in your opinion on Prince Harry’s ‘racist’ comments; how do you reply?”


This is in which the reality of what you are up in opposition to will begin to kick in. You might passionately believe that there may be a hunger obtainable for a brand new birthday celebration, a brand new form of politics even, however getting anybody to concentrate for your message will now not be smooth.

You can be entitled to the loose use of rooms in town halls for public meetings and a copy of the electoral register to help with mail-outs. But after which you are on your personal.

The Jury Team wants people to choose candidates via textual content

“It could be very difficult to get humans involved. Eighty or 90% of human beings might believe your pursuits but that is very extraordinary from humans really doing it,” says Dan Thompson, one of the founders of Your Party.

“The cash you will want to inform them and get them to take part might be very sizeable.”

Launched in 2004 amid excessive hopes, Your Party attempted to interrupt the political mildew by way of permitting the public to pick out the regulations of impartial applicants. But it quickly discovered the fact of life on the nursery slopes of British politics and it never contested a prime British election.


Or maybe not. The odds of achievement for new events, even beneath proportional illustration, aren’t outstanding.

And it is going to be even extra hard this yr as the quantity of seats up for grabs within the UK has long gone down from seventy eight to seventy two, due to Bulgaria and Romania becoming a member of the EU.

You are probably not going to win but it’s far nonetheless well worth it

Dan Thompson, founder of recent political party

UKIP and the Greens might also have gave the look of overnights successes when they gained seats in Brussels, but it came at the back of years of hard slog at grassroots degree. UKIP additionally benefited in 2004 from wealthy backers and movie star help, within the form of Robert Kilroy-Silk, although the subsequent release of his very own party, Veritas, proved even celebrity does now not assure achievement.

Above all you’ll be up towards the call reputation aspect of the big, mounted parties.

“The brand electricity of the prevailing political events is really extensive on the subject of elections,” says Dan Thompson.

But he advises might-be new starters now not to be too discouraged.

“I think it’s far excellent that people strive these items, I certainly do.

“Although at the face of it, you do not make an awful lot effect, you likely do shift the talk a diploma or . Even if, electorally, you don’t appear to be doing some thing, I suppose it is fantastic that human beings set up and be part of new parties and new approaches of doing matters.

“You are in all likelihood no longer going to win however it’s far nevertheless really worth it.”

If all that has now not placed you off, you had higher get your skates at the cut-off date for registering a new celebration to contest this year’s European elections is Thursday, 2 April, even though man or woman applicants can sign in up until 19 May.

And there may be usually the general election, which must show up before June next 12 months.