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It can be said that the major parties still remain the dominant force in UK politics. One of the reasons why is because of our electoral system. Under the first-past-the-post system, the larger parties increase their vote share by spreading their support over the country so that they win as many constituencies as possible. This causes many of the smaller parties to have their votes wasted and so many do not gain any seats at all. This is backed up by the source which says that “the current electoral system favours few parties in the race to govern”. A referendum to change the electoral system to the Alternative Vote failed in 2011, meaning that although the turnout was incredibly low, people simply didn’t want to have a system where there would always need to be a coalition government so nothing would get done or the smaller party would get bullied into dropping some of its policies like the Conservatives did with the Lib Dems over tuition fees. Another reason why it can be said that the major parties still remain the dominant force in UK politics is that the major parties tend to be more towards the centre and therefore encompass a large array of views which means they have more people willing to vote for them so they become more dominant. Smaller parties tend to have more focused and select views and so they receive less votes than the larger parties. This is backed up by the source which says that “the major parties capture the main issues of the day and present choice”.However, it can also be said that the major parties no longer remain the dominant force in UK politics. One of the reasons why is that “more people are questioning the ‘establishment of Westminster’ and looking to parties like the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and UKIP”. This is because a lot of people are not happy with the status quo and that because “in terms of policy, there is little that separates the major parties”, they are starting to look outside of the main two parties as “many of the minority parties present a fresh approach to politics”.Also, the success of the minority parties in the 2015 general election means that now “a secure victory is not the expected norm for either the Labour or Conservative Parties”. This  is because UKIP and the Greens obtained 5 million votes between them and the SNP reached 56 of the 59 available in Scotland, becoming the third largest party in the House of Commons. However, they have since been reduced to 36 seats in the 2017 general election and both Labour and the Conservatives received over 40% of the vote share, suggesting that this increase in the popularity of minority parties has been short-lived.In conclusion, I think that the major parties still remain the dominant force in UK politics. This is mainly because although the 2015 general election saw minority parties achieve some success, this has mainly disappeared since then so we are back to a two-party system controlled by Labour and the Conservatives.Question 2aThere is an ongoing argument as to whether political parties should be state funded or not. On one side, people believe that political parties shouldn’t be state funded. A reason why is that public funding increases the distance between the parties and their voters. This is because when political parties don’t depend on their voters for donations or membership fees, they will usually be less likely to involve them in party decisions or consult them when making policies.Another reason against public funding is that it essentially forces taxpayers to support parties which they don’t support and don’t share similar views with rather than allowing people to support the parties that they want with monetary donations.Public funding also means that some political parties will lose their independence and become “organs of the State”, meaning that they won’t be as relatable to the people who are voting for them.Another reason against public funding is that the people who would decide to introduce it would be the government in power, therefore meaning that they are essentially giving themselves money and not thinking about their voters.However, there are also many reasons why public funding for political parties is a good thing. One of these is that it can be argued that public funding is a necessary cost of democracy. This is because political parties need funding for their electoral campaigns and to keep in contact with their constituencies and voters. It can be argued that if we want to have independent candidates and political parties, they will need to be funded by the state.Public funding also means that political parties are less likely to accept donations from individuals or organisations that want to influence their policies or voting behaviour in Parliament as they won’t feel like they need to accept these donations to cover their expenses. This helps reduce corruption amongst political parties.On the same point, public funding also reduces corruption in political parties by increasing the level of transparency within political parties. This is because if a party receives a substantial amount of their income from the state, they can often be required to disclose their income and expenditures. This also gives people more opportunities to hold politicians accountable.Another reason why political parties should be state funded is that the cost of campaigning is rapidly increasing due to the need for political parties to now buy expensive advertisements to help with their campaign. One of the easiest ways for parties to keep up with this increase in expenditure is by giving them access to public funding.In conclusion, I think that there should be state funding for political parties because it will help reduce corruption amongst the parties and also help them keep up with the ever increasing costs of campaigning for elections. Although it would increase the distance between the party and its voters, I think that overall the positives of state funding outweigh the negatives. I also think that funding should be given the same across all parties, no matter what prospects they have of forming a government.

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