To be successful, parties need to be organised:
a large organisation of activists are needed to
mobilise public opinion and to fight elections.
Even the Green Party which is loosely organised on a
largely informal basis, has developed a mechanism for
producing election manifestos and selecting candidates.
Parties fail because they are unable to create an effective
organisation quickly enough e.g. in 1997 the James Goldsmith
Referendum party because it could not attract sufficient members.
This is important in developing policies and
programmes to present to the electorate.
Parties must devise policies
which gain support.
Procedures need to be set in place for
selecting candidates. This is usually a local
function as politicians should represent the
locality as elections are local affairs.
Leaders give the party direction and are essential
for mobilising public support. The Green Party is
the exception as it is reluctant to recognise
leaders as it is a highly democratic party.
Large parties aim to secure office. To gain office or to
influence policy is their reason for existence. For a new or
small party e.g. Greens (2010) the immediate objective
may be to gain supporters and to win a few seats.