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  • AQA Component 1, Section Political Parties: issues and debates around party funding

  • Edexcel Component 1, Section 2.1: Political Parties: How parties are currently funded, debates on the consequences of the current funding system

Background: what you need to know 

This article highlights the donations made to the Conservative party by individuals and companies in the property sector since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister two years ago. These firms strongly deny any intention to exercise improper influence over government policy but, as in so much of politics, it is perception that counts. The article points out that the same government is changing the planning laws to facilitate new housing developments. This feeds into a wider debate about how political parties should be funded in a modern democracy.

Click to read the articles below and then answer the questions:

Property donors provide one-quarter of funds given to Tory party

Another article on the same theme can be read here:

When cronyism becomes corruption

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • Explain and analyse three ways in which funding of UK political parties has caused controversy. (9 marks)

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 1

  • Evaluate the view that current arrangements for financing UK political parties should be replaced with a system of state funding.

    You must consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. (30 marks)

    TIP: Remember the importance of balance in all A Level Politics essay answers. A system of state funding for parties might address allegations of potentially corrupt influence exercised by wealthy backers. However, there would be problems in deciding the appropriate level of funding for different parties, and taxpayers might resent giving compulsory support to parties of which they disapprove.

Graham Goodlad, St John’s College

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