With David Cameron demanding the involvement of seven parties in the General Election TV debates and Ofcom expected to announce they regard Ukip as a main party, it raises the issue of who exactly our major parties are in British politics.
Traditionally, it has been Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats who have been regarded as the the three main parties but, particularly ahead of this election, this looks set to change.
PLMR’s Rob Comba spoke to Green Party parliamentary candidate Jennifer Nadel, Chris Wilford a Tory parliamentary candidate and PLMR’s Steven Gauge to see who they think should sit at the top table of British politics.
So who are our main parties?
Chris says that Lib Dem, Labour, Conservative, UKIP, the Greens and (perhaps) the SNP should be regarded as the main parties.
Does the Green Party deserve its place alongside UKIP in a ‘big five’?
Jennifer believes it does, she cites the party’s increasing popularity, particularly among students as the main reason.
So is it disappointing that the Green Party are set to be seen as a minor party by Ofcom when the party election broadcast season gets underway?
Jennifer hopes that Ofcom will change their minds before final confirmation is made, particularly as around 3,000 people have signed a petition to see the Green Party regarded as a major party.
Does the Green Party’s growth cause problems for the Lib Dems?
Steven says they are taking votes from Labour as well as the Lib Dems.
Are the Greens a main party?
Steven says that the electoral system means that politics is fragmented and has a more local feel.
Chris agrees – he cites the growth of a party in East London in his constituency.
David Cameron said he wants seven parties involved in the TV debates, including the Green Party. Is he trying to dodge involvement or is he doing this in the interests of plurality?
Jennifer says that the party welcomes his comments and they are certainly a step in the right direction.
So who does the panel think should be involved?
There is a unanimous verdict in favour of involving all seven parties, as outlined by David Cameron. They are: Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem, Green, UKIP, SNP and Plaid Cymru.