Creating the UK Meritocracy Party

Tomorrow I’m going to go over and list the requirements for starting a political party in the UK.

Feel free to jump ahead though!

There’s also a good article from the BBC over here: on starting new parties. It’s from 2009 but I think most of the content is still relevant today.

Introduction to registering a political party:

  1. We should register a political party and not a “minor political party”. This party can be on the Great Britain register (England, Wales and Scotland), the Northern Ireland register, or both. My recommendation is for it to be only **Great Britain ** as having it on both requires double the reporting, and as far as I know, we have no meritocratic activists in Northern Ireland. A registered political party can contest local, devolved, national and European elections, whereas a minor political party can only contest parish council elections.
  2. There are reporting responsibilities, particularly when it comes to finances, that must be carried out. We need someone who is responsible, trustworthy and capable for taking on these duties (possiby as the Party Treasurer or Secretary).
  3. There are three main roles that must be filled: Party Leader, Party Treasurer and Nominating Officer.
  4. The party will need a constitution and financial scheme. There’s a template available for the financial scheme.
  5. We will need to inform the Electoral Commission whether we’ll have accounting units. An accounting unit is a party branch that manages its own finances. Each branch must have its own treasurer and second officer. It’s the type of thing only large parties do, but as we’re working toward become a large party, then it’s something we should let the EC know we plan to do when the opportunity presents itself.
  6. We will need to decide on the party name, party descriptions and party emblems.

After creating the basics (constitution, financial scheme, name, descriptions and emblem) we need at least 2 people to serve as the party’s initial officers and to take on the main roles.

There is an application fee of £150.

We also need a headquarters address. I don’t know whether this can be someone’s home address.

Information on party identity marks:

Process for registering a political party:

It’s all very straightforward and the great thing is the EC has an online party management system where forms can be filled in, which makes things easier in the long-run as there are annual reporting requirements and such.

I have to say I’m impressed with how well organised their website is and the clarity of the information in the PDFs. You can find all the links over here:

1 Like

I am on the committee for my local village hall, we could use that as the party address?

I’m not sure whether that’d be possible as I assume the village hall is public property. Perhaps another alternative would be to use a mailbox address, i.e. one that has no physical building (similar to what you’d get for a new company that has no offices).

Would you be up for emailing or calling the Electoral Commission to find out what options are available when it comes to indicating a political party’s headquarters?

Just spoke to them there are no restrictions on where the headquarters are located, they just need a postal address to contact the party.
BTW, the hall is owned by it’s own management committee (registered charity) and hired to the public.

1 Like

Hm, great. Thanks for checking that out!

Would using the village hall as the HQ address be a possibility then? Would you need to check with the rest of the committee?

No need to check with the committee, I receive the post for the hall at my address, and the postie knows that too. If we need to do anything official, we book the hall in the party name. Fee £8 an hour which I can donate. However I will speak with the committee and let them know that a new political party would like to use the hall. (Even if we never actually book it.)

Awesome, thanks. I assume that at most we’d use it to collect mail initially.

1 Like

Hello. I’m Níall, the newest conscript to this jolly bunch of revolutionaries.

Favouring a more interesting set of hobbies, the Argentum dude suggested that I start up a bit of an M party in Northern Ireland. I am, to say the least delighted to help out ,especially since the structure of local government in NI is being reformed. It is the perfect time for the M crowd to pop up and take advantage of the disruption in the status quo.

Here is a pretty good run down of this is anyone is interested in reading it:

According to the requirements Mr Argentum set out, I have a party leader (me) and and a Nominating Officer. I am currently seeking out someone to be party treasurer so we can send of these forms to the powers that be.

Also I have requested a very talented photographer who may be able to help us create a truly visually appealing emblem!

So, if anyone wants to help out the NI Meritocracy movement while the political weather is still good, give me a shout!

Take care now!



hello i am orrin i am student engineering. i am wanting to be the nomination officer for the northern ireland party.


The following is the verbatim statement from the Electoral Commission regarding party registry in Northern Ireland:

“The Northern Ireland and Great Britain register are entirely separate and you must make two applications to register a party on both registers. You must also pay a registration fee for each application.”

Are they therefore technically two parties but can be managed as one party by having people apply for the same position on both registers and having identical constitutions?

(I’m not saying we should do this, I’m just interested in knowing what options there are)

I will happily ask them, they are quite accommodating if not a bit slow to respond. I’ll edit this post with their answer!

1 Like

Okay. Ye the same officials can stand at both but they must keep all records and finances totally separate. Additionally, the same official can be all of the positions or just more than one. So the party leader can be the treasurer at the same time, for both the UK and NI parties simultaneously but all business must be kept separately.

The constitution can be the same except for the bits that refer to Westminster must instead refer to Stormont.

1 Like

Great, thanks for finding that out @NiallAC!

We should debate whether it’s worth having two completely SEPARATE parties for NI and GB, or whether to manage them as two separate “branches” of the same overarching organisation.

In large part, it’ll depend on the number of people we have initially who are capable and willing to help run these two parties.

I think that in the long-run it’d be best if they were run independently but with strong ties and cooperation between each other. Starting out, we could aim to have each of the required positions filled by a separate person, but take advantage of the fact GB residents can fill NI positions and viceversa, if necessary.

What do you think?

That sounds sensible, the interchangeable roles will indeed help us out because we are going to be seriously understaffed over here!

The culture here is one which is often suspicious of totally out of the box ideas. It has always reminded me of where the hobbits live in the Lord of the Rings, these folk must see success before they trust any group.

For the moment, I and one other are totally devoted to the cause, and we have strong ties to current politicians as well because I run a media organisation and have all of their contacts.

So between the two of us if necessary we can fill the required roles to put on the form for the time being. As long as it’s legal we’re good, it hardly matters for the moment. It is then a point of publicity. Forming user friendly messages which I can transmit over my podcast and the e-magazine which I write for. I also keep posting our type of stuff on Facebook to acclimatise the people to it.

What is the status with the rest of the preparations? When are we planning to apply etc?

1 Like

We need to finish the constitution and create a website with membership capability. A couple of us have been exploring Tendenci: and it does look like it can serve the needs of Meritocracy Parties. The main issue is that it needs a lot of customisation and it’s rough around the edges in certain areas, but other than that, it’s pretty good (apart from free and open source).

So if you or anyone reading this knows of people with CSS/HTML skills (both together), with proven experience, who are meritocrats or potential meritocrats, get 'em on board. We’ll have a lot of work for them that they can get involved in.

Okay, so what is the status with the constitution? Has anything been drafted? My skills are in writing, audio and video, journalism and research. I can’t help with the html/css, but if I come across anyone I’ll try to recruit them. I know of a few computing graduates but not personally.

If I can help in anyway, please just ask.


Yep, I posted a draft in the other topic a couple of weeks ago. Still needs to be worked on, but the bulk of it can be considered as done if we’re happy adopting standard procedures used in other parties (which are ideologically neutral for the most part).

Don’t (like some parties I’ve looked at) be confusing the constitution and the manifesto.
The constitution needs to set out how the party is run, how decisions are made, when and how the meetings are held, etc.
The easiest way forward is to start with a model constitution and adapt it to suit: stick it in your favourite search engine and take your pick.

As to meetings, I have found nothing to suggest that meetings cannot be held online, and in fact there is a good argument that we are having one now…