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How an anti-Brexit party could be created without the need to leave existing parties

August 11th, 2017

The Labour/Cooperative party provides a legal template

It has been rehearsed many time over – the massive challenges that a new party would face simply getting off the ground.

Now LD blogger, Mark Pack has come up with an ingenious and what he says is legal solution using the provision within electoral law that allows candidates to stand as joint Labour/Co-operative Party candidates. He writes:

“..”This allows a candidate to stand as the joint candidate of two different political parties, with the news that they are a joint candidate reproduced on the ballot paper.

That ballot paper point is crucial because it means that right at the point of voting, people know exactly which candidates have the backing of parties. No messing around with hoping people will look up preferred candidates on a tactical voting website. Instead you get the message right in front of every single voter at the point at which they vote.

Yet by backing candidates of existing parties you also get the benefits of their existing organisations and voter loyalty.

So, you create a new pro-European political party, but rather than try to make it in a fully functioning traditional party, you instead make it an umbrella coalition. Offer any candidate of any party the chance to get an official endorsement from the new party if they agree to a certain number of basic principles (European policy most obviously). If a candidate signs up, give them the right to use the logo and name on the ballot paper..

…There are a few legal wrinkles to this the full details of which are in the legal details from the Electoral Commission. First, the party description on the ballot paper. This requires consent of the ‘traditional’ political parties whose candidates the new party wishes also to endorse as what the law permits is for different parties to agree to register a joint description (e.g. Green Party / New European Party). A candidate using such a joint description then choose which of official logos of the two parties to use.”

It sounds plausible but would the main parties agree to their general election candidates putting themselves forward in this way. You could all get a situation where more than one contender with say “Pro-EU” link could put themselves forward in, say, strong remain areas.

There’s no reason why pro-brexiteers shouldn’t do the same.

Interesting.

Mike Smithson