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Deposit by Candidates at Parliamentary Elections

Part of Orders of the Day — Representation of the People Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 14th February 1985.

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Photo of Mr Matthew Parris Mr Matthew Parris , West Derbyshire 5:45 pm, 14th February 1985

My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State said that only a realistic level of support entitles a party to consider itself a serious contender in a general election. I do not agree. I believe that there are such things in politics as ideas as well as support at the polls. I believe that ideas as well as voting figures can be serious. Ideas may have to spend a long time in the wilderness before attracting electoral support. These changes make that wilderness a little less hospitable to ideas. To the extent that the Government have considerably compromised, I welcome the changes and I shall support the clause in the Lobby. I am still sorry that the test of a candidate's seriousness is the amount of money that he is able to put up.