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Money and electoral politicsLocal parties and funding at general elections$
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Ron Johnston and Charles Pattie

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447306320

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447306320.001.0001

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Party Funding Futures

Party Funding Futures

(p.151) Five Party Funding Futures
Money and electoral politics

Ron Johnston

Charles Pattie

Policy Press

Periodic attempts have been made to reform party funding in the UK, but with only partial success. Major recent changes have focussed on capping the amount which parties can spend on their national campaigns, introducing controls on local candidate spending in the months preceding an election, and placing parties under more stringent reporting requirements with regards their income and expenditure. These changes notwithstanding, debate continues around the reform of party finance. The chapter reviews recent developments in this debate. Pressure for reform has grown, not least as parties face the combined challenges of: declining electoral participation; declining party membership; and increasing emphasis on targeted campaigning in key seats. To some extent, parties are being asked to do more (mobilisation, targeting, etc.) with less (as numbers of active members decline, placing pressure not only on the numbers of volunteers they can field but also on an important source of income). There is widespread agreement on the need for reform, therefore. But there is little agreement on the form such reform should take, as different parties’ situations present different challenges – and hence the prospects for reform are limited.

Keywords:   Legislative framework, Party funding, Reform, Future prospects

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