1 JANUARY 1965, Page 14

Lost Deposits

SIR,—The barriers which stop ordinary men and women from standing for Parliament should be lowered, and no new barriers erected.

The £150 deposit is intended to deter, but is not high enough. Probably it should be raised, though personally I would not welcome a greatly increased deposit. I did not stand as a candidate in 1964 since I felt the law might operate against me unfairly. In 1960 1 polled between 3,000 and 4,000 votes in a by-election by making a direct appeal to the voters. I was not nominated by a 'caucus, held no sterile meetings and was not backed by any political organisation. Supposing I stood in 1965 and im- proved my figures, say, to 5,000, the chances are that I would still lose my £150 deposit.

A candidate who polls within the 3,000-5,000 range is not the kind whom the law is trying to deter. It is unfair, undemocratic and a denial of parliamentary liberty that a candidate with support on this scale should be penalised financially. The remedy is to adjust the proportion of votes required by a candidate to save his deposit.


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