So who wants to be the British Emmanuel Macron? There’s £50 million worth of support waiting for you

So who wants to be the British Emmanuel Macron? There’s £50 million worth of support waiting for you

I’m not sure £50 million is enough to overturn the inbuilt bias that FPTP gives the Tories and Labour nor the rules on election spending.

Since the 23rd of June 2016 we regularly get stories about a new (centrist) party being formed, I generally place these stories in the same category as dog bites man and Manchester being wet*. But today’s Observer story is attracting a lot of comment because of the £50 million support.

One of the reasons I’ve not expected a new party to form in this country is because of the inbuilt bias of first past the post gives the Tories and Labour. In 1983 and 2015 when the Alliance and UKIP broke the mould in terms of share of the vote however they didn’t break the mould in terms of seats, when the number of MPs elected for those parties was not commensurate with their share of the vote, or anywhere near close.

The other reason for a lack of breakthrough for a new party is that we have strict limits on election spending, both in the short and long campaigns of a general election which is also a hindrance to well funded insurgents. A British Forza Italia would have struggled to win a general election in the UK in the way Silvio Berlusconi’s new party did in the 1994 Italian general election.

Plus as The Observer notes about this new well funded party project ‘They have the resources, but I’m not sure they have a viable plan’ said one person familiar with the project, well quite. It appears that a lot of British politics today is being about what you’re opposed to, such as Brexit, austerity, or Corbynism, you need some viable policies to show what you’re in favour of as well.

As for being the British Macron that’s probably a misleading comparison as the French voting system is very different to the voting system La perfide Albion uses. Unlike the French we don’t directly elect our head of the executive, nor do we use two rounds of voting to elect our legislature.

As for Macron being popular and a mould breaker the 24.01% Macron received in the first round was quite poor since the Fifth Republic started using two rounds of voting to elect their President, only Jacques Chirac received a lower share of the vote and went on to win the Presidency.

Under FPTP 24.01% might win you a few seats as a new party but not an election, in 1983 the Alliance polled just over 25% and won 23 out of 650 seats.


*As someone who has spent the last seven years working in Manchester and even longer spending a lot of social time there I still consider it fake news that Manchester that isn’t even in the top ten wettest cities in this country, apparently according to the experts it is only the fifteenth wettest city in the UK.

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