The first past the post electoral system has been clearly shown to not be fit for its purpose since the results from the 2015 General Election were announced. The travesty that is our electoral system, which allows the SNP to get 56 MPs for 1.5 million votes, yet gives UKIP just one MP for 4 million votes, must be revised and anyone, from any party which believes in democracy, should agree with that. The infographic from 38 Degrees, on the left, clearly illustrates what has happened.
However, this isn’t where the disparity ends. Had UKIP got 2 MPs elected, it would have received a share of the public funding allocated to parties by the Electoral Commission to help develop policies. However, because it only got one MP, it is not entitled to this.
UKIP was entitled to what is known as the “short money” for getting one MP, Douglas Carswell, elected to parliament. However, the strict use of this money is not to help fund the party, but to provide assistance to the elected MPs. This money would have been £650,000 a year, but the party decided that, as Mr Carswell does not need a staff of 15 in order to function as an MP, and because UKIP is different to the other money grabbing parties, it would turn this money down.
However, the reality of this situation means that UKIP has not received the funding, that by anybody’s standards, it should have received.
The cold hard facts of running a party and campaigning are that you need money to do this. That is just a fact of life. And we currently have a system that funds the SNP, which received less than half the votes of UKIP, but not UKIP. Do you think that’s fair and right?