Party Funding

16 Mar 2017

Local spending matters when votes aren't equal

Today we have seen the consequences of a violation of the rules on campaign spending, one facet of the way political parties are funded. Yet the Electoral Commission’s fine of the Conservative party for breaching reporting rules on party spending highlights bigger issues in our political system. Campaign spending rules exist for a key reason. Britain’s first past the post electoral system rewards […]
24 Oct 2016

It's time to 'take back control' of money in politics

The following is a guest post from Steve Goodrich, Senior Research Officer at Transparency International UK. The views, opinions and positions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Electoral Reform Society. Although Brexit has divided opinion across the country there’s one thing that everyone’s united on: it’s a massive deal. Some see it as a great […]
21 Mar 2016

Short-changing voters

This week the government will formally announce final plans to slash public funding for opposition parties in Parliament. According to the Independent today, the formula for calculating how the money is given to parties with fewer than six MPs will be ‘reworked’ – in other words, their money will be disproportionately cut. We think it’s an incredibly backwards step. UKIP received nearly four […]
3 Mar 2016

It’s time for real cross-party funding talks

Party funding reform isn’t the sort of thing which should be done by one party to another. So we were pleased to welcome a key report on the Trade Union Bill yesterday – which as it stands would do just that. The report, from the catchily-titled ‘ Select Committee on Trade Union Political Funds and Political Party Funding ’, makes the case for some important changes to the Union Bill, which could […]
21 Jan 2016

One small step towards cleaning up the big donor culture

Sometimes it’s the small victories that count. On Wednesday we released polling by BMG showing that 77% of the public think big donors have too much influence over our parties. And on the same day, Peers heeded the public by voting to set up a cross-party committee on party funding reform. The move comes amidst growing concern that the Trade Union Bill is completely one-sided in its approach to […]
20 Jan 2016

Let's get party funding reform right

The issue of how our parties are funded is at the core of Parliamentary democracy. And today, peers in the House of Lords are debating a major change to the current system in the Trade Union Bill that’s currently going through Parliament. The change is a significant one - but it's one-sided. By insisting in the Bill that union members should ‘opt-in’ to unions’ political funds, the Government […]
4 Jan 2016

Our top ten most read blogs of 2015

2015 was the busiest year ever for the Electoral Reform Society blog, with monthly readership over double the level we had in 2014. As we get stuck in to 2016, we thought we’d look back over the top ten most read blogs of 2015. The dash for cash At number ten we had the news from May that over £100,000,000 was donated to ten political parties in the run up to the 2015 election, more than double […]
26 Nov 2015

The long and the Short of it

On Wednesday, the Chancellor announced his decision to cut public funding for opposition parties by a fifth. This ‘Short money’ - funding which goes to opposition parties in order to level the playing field and ensure democratic scrutiny – will be stripped back in an attempt to ‘cut the cost of politics’. The reason for Short money is simple. While the Government can rely on the vast resources of […]
15 Aug 2013

Penny for your vote?

Elections in Britain have become the ultimate postcode lottery. Our new report, Penny for your Vote? , shows that the amount of money which parties spend on attracting your vote depends almost entirely on where you live. At the starkest extremes, voters in Bootle are valued 22 times less than those in Luton South . In other words, all votes are not created equal after all. If you live in a […]
18 Jul 2013

The Lobbying Bill: a missed opportunity

Guest writer Robert Barrington is Executive Director of Transparency International UK (TI-UK). This blog was originally published on the TI-UK website When David Cameron said in 2010 that lobbying was 'the next big scandal waiting to happen' he was both right and wrong. Right because it is an area which is ripe for scandal - a potentially unsavoury mix of money, power, politics and special […]