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An independent or non-partisan politician is a politician not affiliated with any
political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific political ideology ...
. There are numerous reasons why someone may stand for office as an independent. Some politicians have political views that do not align with the platforms of any political party, and therefore choose not to affiliate with them. Some independent politicians may be associated with a party, perhaps as former members of it, or else have views that align with it, but choose not to stand in its name, or are unable to do so because the party in question has selected another candidate. Others may belong to or support a political party at the national level but believe they should not formally represent it (and thus be subject to its policies) at another level. In running for public office, independents sometimes choose to form a party or alliance with other independents, and may formally register their party or alliance. Even where the word "independent" is used, such alliances have much in common with a political party, especially if there is an organization which needs to approve the "independent" candidates.


Americas


Brazil

Independent politicians are not allowed to run for office in Brazil. The Constitution of 1988, in Article 14, §3rd, item V, says that "Are conditions for eligibility: V - party affiliation." However, the Proposal Amendment to the Constitution (PEC) no. 6/2015, authored by independent senator José Reguffe, would allow the independent candidacy of individuals who have the support of at least 1% of the electors able to vote in the region (city, state or country, depending on the election) in which the candidate is running. Currently, members of the legislature can leave their respective parties after being elected, as in the case of senator Reguffe, who left the Democratic Labour Party (PDT) in 2016.


Canada

Independent Members of Parliament were numerous in the last decades of the 19th century but diminished as the party system solidified. It remained common, however, to have a small number of
Independent Liberal Independent Liberal is a description allowed in politics to denote party affiliation. It is used to designate a politician as a Liberalism, liberal, yet Independent politician, independent of the official Liberal Party of a country. Those parties ...
or
Independent Conservative Independent Conservative is a description which has been used in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' ...
MPs into the 1950s. Today, election as an independent is far more common at the municipal level. Many municipalities have no tradition of political parties. Candidates in federal elections who are not affiliated with a party have two options: independent or no affiliation. In the former case, they appear on the ballot with "Independent" following their name; in the second case, they appear with their name only. The two options are otherwise equivalent. Independent politicians have on occasion held considerable sway in the
House of Commons of Canada The House of Commons of Canada (french: Chambre des communes du Canada) is the lower chamber of the bicameral Parliament of Canada, which also comprises the Monarchy of Canada, sovereign (represented by the Governor General of Canada, governor ...
in recent years, as Canada has been governed by successive
minority government A minority government, minority cabinet, minority administration, or a minority parliament is a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Art ...
s with independent
Members of Parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) ...
(MPs) sometimes sharing in the balance of power. In the
2004 federal election 4 (four) is a number, numeral (linguistics), numeral and numerical digit, digit. It is the natural number following 3 and preceding 5. It is the smallest composite number, and is tetraphobia, considered unlucky in many East Asian cultures. In math ...
,
Chuck Cadman Charles Cadman (February 21, 1948July 9, 2005) was a Politics of Canada, Canadian politician and Members of the Canadian House of Commons, Member of House of Commons of Canada, Parliament (MP) from 1997 to 2005, representing the electoral distri ...
was elected to federal parliament as an independent MP representing the
British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = None , Slogan = Beautiful British C ...

British Columbia
riding of
Surrey North Surrey North was a federal electoral district An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electoral area, circumscription, or electo ...

Surrey North
. Independent André Arthur was elected in the
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
riding of
Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier:''"Portneuf (electoral district)" re-directs here. For the provincial electoral district, see Portneuf (provincial electoral district). For the pre-Confederation electoral district, see Portneuf (Province of Canada electoral district).'' Portneuf ...
in the 2006 federal election, and was the only independent to win a seat in that election; he was re-elected in the 2008 federal election. MP
Bill Casey William D. Casey (born February 19, 1945) is a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of ...
, who had been expelled from the Conservative Party for voting against the 2007 budget, also ran as an independent in 2008 and retained his seat. In the 2019 federal election, MP
Jody Wilson-Raybould Jody Wilson-Raybould (born March 23, 1971), also known by her initials JWR and by her Kwak’wala name Puglaas, is a Canadian lawyer and politician who served as the member of Parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of ...

Jody Wilson-Raybould
ran as an independent candidate in the riding of
Vancouver Granville Vancouver Granville is a federal electoral district An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electoral area, circumscription, ...
after being expelled from the Liberal Party over the
SNC-Lavalin affair The SNC-Lavalin affair was a political scandal In politics, a political scandal is an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage. Politicians, government officials, Political party, party officials ...
. She was returned to Parliament with 32% of the vote. The territorial legislatures of the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
and
Nunavut Nunavut ( iu, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ; ) is the largest and northernmost provinces and territories of Canada, territory of Canada. It was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the ''Nunavut Act'' and the ''Nunavut ...
are
consensus government A consensus government is one in which the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass ...
s with no political parties. All members sit as independents. There are a few independent members of the other provincial and territorial legislatures, which are similar in principle to the federal House of Commons; for example, in the
2009 British Columbia general election The 2009 British Columbia general election was held on May 12, 2009, to elect members of the Legislative Assembly {{Unreferenced, date=December 2009 Legislative assembly is the name given in some countries to either a legislature, or to one of its ...
, independent candidate
Vicki Huntington Victoria "Vicki" Huntington is a Canadian politician who served in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia -covered statue of Captain George Vancouver File:Vancouver island, Canada (29786727247).jpg, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, Va ...
narrowly defeated incumbent
Attorney General #REDIRECT Attorney general In most common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinio ...
Wally Oppal Wallace Taroo "Wally" Oppal, (born 1940) is a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of C ...

Wally Oppal
in
Delta South Delta South is a provincial Provincial may refer to: Government & Administration * Provincial capitals, an administrative sub-national capital of a country * Provincial city (disambiguation) * Provincial minister (disambiguation) * Provincial Se ...
. In the 2019 Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election, two independent candidates were elected.


Costa Rica

In
Costa Rica Costa Rica (, ; ; literally "Rich Coast"), officially the Republic of Costa Rica ( es, República de Costa Rica), is a country in Central America Central America ( es, América Central, , ''Centroamérica'' ) is a region of the Amer ...

Costa Rica
it is not possible, according to current legislation, for a citizen to directly run for any elected position as an independent without the representation of a political party. Any nomination must be made through a political party, due to the framework of the current legal system, in which the political parties have a monopoly on the nomination of candidates for elected positions according to the Electoral Code. However, becoming an independent politician after being elected is protected by virtue of Article 25 of the
Constitution of Costa Rica The Constitution of Costa Rica is the supreme law of Costa Rica Costa Rica (, ; ; literally "Rich Coast"), officially the Republic of Costa Rica ( es, República de Costa Rica), is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua ...
, which guarantees
freedom of association Freedom of association encompasses both an individual's right to join or leave groups voluntarily, the right of the group to take collective action Collective action refers to action taken together by a group of people whose goal A goal is ...
and therefore any citizen cannot be forced to remain in a specific political party and can join any other political group. It is common in each legislative period for some
deputiesA deputy is a legislator A legislator (or lawmaker) is a person who writes and passes laws, especially someone who is a member of a legislature. Legislators are often elected by the people of the state. Legislatures may be supra-national (fo ...
(, term used for legislators) of the
Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica The Legislative Assembly ( es, Asamblea Legislativa) forms the unicameral In government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad asso ...
to become independents, and this has also happened with the
mayor In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official An official is someone who holds an office (function or , regardless whether it carries an actual with it) in an or government and participates in the exercise of , (either their ow ...

mayor
s () of the municipalities of
cantons A canton is a type of administrative division of a country. In general, cantons are relatively small in terms of area and population when compared with other administrative divisions such as county, counties, Department (administrative division), ...
.


Mexico

Jaime Heliodoro Rodríguez Calderón (born in 1957), sometimes referred to by his nickname "Bronco", is a
Mexican Mexican may refer to: Mexico and its culture *Being related to, from, or connected to the country of Mexico, in North America ** Being related to the State of Mexico, one of the 32 federal entities of Mexico ** Culture of Mexico *** Mexican cuisi ...

Mexican
politician who is the current governor for the northern state of
Nuevo León Nuevo León () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...
and holds no political party affiliation. , he was elected Governor of Nuevo León, making history as the first independent candidate to win in the country.


United States


President

George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American soldier, statesman, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. Natio ...

George Washington
is the only
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...

President
elected as an independent to date. President Washington opposed the development of
political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective recipient of an award or honor, or a person seeking or being considered for some kind of position; for example: * to be elected to ...
, which had begun to solidify as the
Federalist The term ''federalist'' describes several political beliefs around the world. It may also refer to the concept of parties, whose members or supporters called themselves ''Federalists''.http://m-w.com/dictionary/federalist. History Europe In E ...
faction centered around Vice President
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of ...

John Adams
and
Secretary of the Treasury The United States secretary of the treasury is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury The Department of the Treasury (USDT) is the national treasury A treasury is either *A government department related to finance and t ...
Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757July 12, 1804) was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker, and economist. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States The Founding Fa ...

Alexander Hamilton
and the
Democratic-Republican The Democratic-Republican Party, better known at the time under various other names, was an American political party founded by Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, l ...
faction centered around Secretary of State
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were cr ...

Thomas Jefferson
and
James Madison James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, expansionist, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited wi ...

James Madison
. Washington feared that
partisanship A partisan is a committed member of a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about po ...
would eventually destroy the country, and famously warned against "the baneful effects of the spirit of party" in his 1796 Farewell Address.
John Tyler John Tyler (March 29, 1790January 18, 1862) was the 10th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona ( ...

John Tyler
was expelled from the Whig Party in September 1841, and effectively remained an independent for the remainder of his presidency. He later returned to the
Democratic PartyDemocratic Party most often refers to: *Democratic Party (United States) Democratic Party and similar terms may also refer to: Active parties Africa *Botswana Democratic Party *Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea *Gabonese Democratic Party *Democ ...
and briefly sought re-election in
1844 Events January–March * January 15 – The University of Notre Dame, based in Notre Dame, Indiana, the city of the same name, receives its charter from Indiana. * February 27 – The Dominican Republic gains independence from Haiti. * F ...
as a National Democrat, but withdrew over fear he would split the Democratic vote. Since 1900, notable candidates running as independents for U.S. president have included congressman
John AndersonJohn Anderson may refer to: Business *John Anderson (Scottish businessman) (1747–1820), Scottish merchant and founder of Fermoy, Ireland *John Byers Anderson (1817–1897), American educator, military officer and railroad executive, mentor of An ...

John Anderson
in
1980 Events January * January 4 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter proclaims a United States grain embargo against the Soviet Union, grain embargo against the USSR with the support of the European Commission. * January 6 – Global Positioning Syst ...
, billionaire entrepreneur
Ross Perot Henry Ross Perot (; June 27, 1930 – July 9, 2019) was an American business magnate, billionaire, politician and philanthropist. He was the founder and chief executive officer of Electronic Data Systems and Perot Systems. He ran an Indepe ...

Ross Perot
in
1992 1992 was designated as: * International Space YearThe International Space Year (ISY) was 1992, the year of the quincentenary of Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, C ...
and
1996 1996 was designated as: * International Year for the Eradication of Poverty Events January * January 3 Events Pre-1600 * 69 – The Roman legions on the Rhine refuse to declare their allegiance to Galba Galba (; born Servius Sulpi ...
(in 1996 under the newly founded Reform Party), former
Green Party A Green party is a formally organized political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have similar ideas about poli ...
candidate
Ralph Nader Ralph Nader (; born February 27, 1934) is an American political activist, author, lecturer, and attorney noted for his involvement in consumer protection Consumer protection is the practice of safeguarding buyers of goods and services, and ...
in the
1996 1996 was designated as: * International Year for the Eradication of Poverty Events January * January 3 Events Pre-1600 * 69 – The Roman legions on the Rhine refuse to declare their allegiance to Galba Galba (; born Servius Sulpi ...
and
2000 2000 was designated as the International Year for the Culture of Peace and the World Mathematics, Mathematical Year. Popular culture holds the year 2000 as the first year of the 21st century and the 3rd millennium due to a tendency of group ...
elections, and "Never Trump" conservative candidate
Evan McMullin David Evan McMullin (born April 2, 1976) is an American political activist and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operations officer who ran as an Independent politician, independent during the 2016 United States presidential election. Mc ...
in
2016 2016 was designated as: * International Year of Pulses 2016 was declared as the International Year of Pulses by the sixty eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly on December 20, 2013. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) ...
. Out of all independent candidates since Washington, Perot received the best performance, gaining no votes in the
Electoral College An electoral college is a set of Voting, electors who are selected to elect a candidate to particular offices. Often these represent different organizations, political parties or Legal entity, entities, with each organization, political party or ...

Electoral College
but receiving 19 percent of the popular vote and at earlier points in the election season leading in polls against his opponents
Bill Clinton William Jefferson Clinton ('' né'' Blythe III; born August 19, 1946) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 42nd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and ...

Bill Clinton
and
George H.W. Bush George Herbert Walker BushSince around 2000 he was usually called George H. W. Bush, Bush Senior, Bush 41 or Bush the Elder to distinguish him from his eldest son, George W. Bush, who served as the 43rd president from 2001 to 2009; previousl ...

George H.W. Bush
. Additionally, McMullin received 21 percent of the popular vote in his home state of
Utah Utah ( , ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. Utah is a landlocked U.S. state bordered to its east by Colorado, to its northeast by Wyoming, to its north by Idaho, to its so ...

Utah
but received little support from the remainder of the country. Independent Senator
Bernie Sanders Bernard Sanders (born September8, 1941) is an American politician who has served as the Seniority in the United States Senate, junior United States Senate, United States senator from Vermont since 2007 and as U.S. Representative for the sta ...

Bernie Sanders
ran in the
2016 2016 was designated as: * International Year of Pulses 2016 was declared as the International Year of Pulses by the sixty eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly on December 20, 2013. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) ...
and 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries, but ultimately did not appear on the ballot in the 2016 presidential election, though he did receive 5% of the vote as a
write-in candidate A write-in candidate is a candidate whose name does not appear on the ballot A ballot is a device used to cast votes in an election and may be found as a piece of paper or a small ball used in secret . It was originally a small ball (see ) ...
in his home state of
Vermont Vermont () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Vermont
. In 2008, Nader formed Independent Parties in
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Greater Albuquerque , OfficialLang = None , Languages = English English usually refer ...

New Mexico
,
Delaware Delaware ( ) is a state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Maryland to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. The state takes i ...
, and elsewhere to gain ballot access in several states. This strategy has been pursued by several other candidates for federal races, including
Joe Lieberman Joseph Isadore Lieberman (; born February 24, 1942) is an American politician, lobbyist, and attorney who served as a United States Senator The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress The Uni ...

Joe Lieberman
(
Connecticut for Lieberman Connecticut for Lieberman was a Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, second-highest level of human development behind ...
).


Governor

Illinois Illinois ( ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspape ...

Illinois
,
Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the Gulf of Maine to the southeast; and the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Qu ...

Maine
,
Oregon Oregon () is a U.S. state, state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington (state), Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of it ...

Oregon
,
Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as ...
,
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambigu ...

Texas
,
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
and
Minnesota Minnesota () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Minnesota
have elected formally independent candidates as governor: Illinois's first two governors,
Shadrach Bond Shadrach Bond (November 24, 1773 – April 12, 1832) was a representative from the Illinois Territory The Territory of Illinois was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 1, 1809, until December 3, 18 ...
and
Edward Coles
Edward Coles
; James B. Longley in 1974 as well as
Angus King Angus Stanley King Jr. (born March 31, 1944) is an American politician and lawyer who is the junior Junior or Juniors may refer to: Sport * Junior athletics, age-based athletic training and completion category * Instances of junior athletic co ...
in 1994 and 1998 from Maine;
Lincoln Chafee Lincoln Davenport Chafee ( ; born March 26, 1953) is an American politician. He was mayor of Warwick, Rhode Island, Warwick from 1993 to 1999, a United States Senate, United States Senator from 1999 to 2007, and the 74th Governor of Rhode Isla ...
in 2010 from Rhode Island;
Julius Meier Julius L. Meier (December 31, 1874 – July 14, 1937) was an American businessman, civic leader, and politician in the state of Oregon. The son of the Meier & Frank department store founder, he would become a lawyer before entering the family busi ...
in 1930 from Oregon;
Sam Houston Samuel Houston (March 2, 1793July 26, 1863) was an American general. He was an important leader of the Texas Revolution, Houston served as the first and third president of the Republic of Texas, and was one of the first two individuals to repre ...

Sam Houston
in 1859 from Texas; and Bill Walker in 2014 from Alaska. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. is sometimes mentioned as an independent governor, though this is not technically correct; he ran as an
A Connecticut Party A Connecticut Party was a political party formed by former Republican Party (United States), Republican United States Senate, senator and gubernatorial candidate Lowell Weicker in 1990. Weicker subsequently won the Connecticut gubernatorial elec ...
candidate (which gave him better ballot placement than an unaffiliated candidate would receive), defeating the Democratic and Republican party nominees. Another former governor who is sometimes mentioned as an independent is
Jesse Ventura Jesse Ventura (born James George Janos; July 15, 1951) is an American politician, actor, television presenter, political commentator, author, and retired professional wrestler. After achieving fame in the WWE, World Wrestling Federation (WWF), h ...

Jesse Ventura
, who actually ran as a member of the Reform Party's Minnesota affiliate, which later disaffiliated from the party and reverted to their original name the
Independence Party of Minnesota The Independence Party of Minnesota (often abbreviated IPM, MNIP or IP), formerly the Reform Party of Minnesota, is a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It i ...
. In 1971, State Senator
Henry Howell Henry Evans Howell, Jr. (September 5, 1920 – July 7, 1997), nicknamed "Howlin' Henry" Howell, was an American politician from the Commonwealth of Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a U.S. state, state in ...
of
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
, a former Democrat, was elected
lieutenant governor A lieutenant governor, lieutenant-governor, or vice governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdiction. Often a lieutenant governor is the deputy, or lieutenant A lieutenant ( or abbreviated Lt., Lt, LT, L ...
as an independent. Two years later, he campaigned for
governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the Executive (government), executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state. In federations, ''governor'' may be t ...
as an independent, but lost by 15,000 votes. There were several unsuccessful independent gubernatorial candidates in 2006 who impacted their electoral races. In
Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the Gulf of Maine to the southeast; and the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Qu ...

Maine
, state legislator
Barbara Merrill Barbara E. Merrill (born 1957 in Frankfurt, Germany Frankfurt, officially Frankfurt am Main (; Hessian: ''Frangford am Maa'', " Frank ford The Ford Motor Company, commonly known as Ford, is an American multinational automaker that ha ...
(formerly a Democrat) received 21% of the vote. In
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambigu ...

Texas
, country music singer and detective fiction, mystery novelist Kinky Friedman received 12.43% of the vote, and State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn received 18.13%. Strayhorn and Friedman's presence in the race resulted in a splitting of the ballot four ways between themselves and the two major parties. In 2010, Florida Governor of Florida, governor Charlie Crist left the Republican party and became Independent (He later became a Democrat.) rather than face former Florida House of Representatives, state house Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, Speaker Marco Rubio in the Republican primary for Senate (Rubio won, though Crist came in ahead of Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek). In 2014, former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann ran as an independent candidate for the Governor of Hawaii, governorship of the State of Hawaii after previously campaigning in the state's Democratic primary. As a result, Democratic candidate David Ige was elected as governor with a plurality of 49%.


Congress – House of Representatives and Senate

There have been several independents elected to the United States Senate throughout history. Notable examples include David Davis (Supreme Court justice), David Davis of
Illinois Illinois ( ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspape ...

Illinois
(a former Republican Party (United States), Republican) in the 19th century, and Harry F. Byrd Jr. of
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
(who had been elected to his first term as a Democrat) in the 20th century. Some officials have been elected as members of a party but became independent while in office (without being elected as such), such as Wayne Morse of
Oregon Oregon () is a U.S. state, state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington (state), Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of it ...

Oregon
. Nebraska senator George W. Norris was elected for four terms as a Republican before changing to an independent after the Republicans lost their majority in Congress in 1930. Norris won re-election as an independent in 1936, but later lost his final re-election attempt to Republican Kenneth S. Wherry in 1942.
Vermont Vermont () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Vermont
senator Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party to become an independent in 2001. Jeffords's party switching, change of party status was especially significant because it shifted the Senate composition from 50 to 50 between the Republicans and Democrats (with a Republican Vice President of the United States, Vice President, Dick Cheney, who would presumably break all ties in favor of the Republicans), to 49 Republicans, 50 Democrats, and one Independent. Jeffords agreed to vote for Democratic control of the Senate in exchange for being appointed chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and the Democrats held control of the Senate until the 2002 U.S. Senate election, Congressional elections in 2002, when the Republicans regained their majority. Jeffords retired at the end of his term in 2007. Wayne Morse after two years as an independent became a Democrat. Dean Barkley of the
Independence Party of Minnesota The Independence Party of Minnesota (often abbreviated IPM, MNIP or IP), formerly the Reform Party of Minnesota, is a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It i ...
was appointed a day before the 2002 elections to fill the senate seat of Paul Wellstone who, while running for re-election, died weeks prior. Barkley refused to caucus with either party. Senator
Bernie Sanders Bernard Sanders (born September8, 1941) is an American politician who has served as the Seniority in the United States Senate, junior United States Senate, United States senator from Vermont since 2007 and as U.S. Representative for the sta ...

Bernie Sanders
is the longest-serving independent member of Congress in American history. He was an independent member of the United States House of Representatives for United States House of Representatives, Vermont At Large, Vermont-at-large from 1991 to 2007. Sanders later won the open Senate seat of Jim Jeffords as an independent.
Joe Lieberman Joseph Isadore Lieberman (; born February 24, 1942) is an American politician, lobbyist, and attorney who served as a United States Senator The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress The Uni ...

Joe Lieberman
is a former Democratic Party (United States), Democrat who, like Lowell P. Weicker Jr., ran under a third party (Connecticut for Lieberman, Connecticut for Lieberman Party) in the 2006 United States Senate election in Connecticut, 2006 election. Though both representatives are technically independent politicians, they often caucus with the Democrats. In 2006, Sanders and Lieberman were the only two victorious independent candidates for Congress, both caucusing with the Democrats. In 2012,
Angus King Angus Stanley King Jr. (born March 31, 1944) is an American politician and lawyer who is the junior Junior or Juniors may refer to: Sport * Junior athletics, age-based athletic training and completion category * Instances of junior athletic co ...
was elected to the US Senate as an Independent from Maine. , he has typically caucused with the Democrats. The United States House of Representatives has also seen a handful of Third-party members of the United States House of Representatives, independent members. Examples include
Bernie Sanders Bernard Sanders (born September8, 1941) is an American politician who has served as the Seniority in the United States Senate, junior United States Senate, United States senator from Vermont since 2007 and as U.S. Representative for the sta ...

Bernie Sanders
of
Vermont Vermont () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Vermont
, Virgil Goode of
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
, Frazier Reams of Ohio, Victor Berger of Wisconsin, Justin Amash and Paul Mitchell (politician), Paul Mitchell of Michigan.


Asia


Azerbaijan

In Azerbaijan, there are many independent members of the National Assembly (Azerbaijan), National Assembly, such as Aytən Mustafayeva.


Bangladesh


Hong Kong

More than half of Hong Kong's Legislative Council (Hong Kong), Legislative Council is made up of independents, or members whose political groups are represented by one sole member in the legislature. They are common in Functional constituency (Hong Kong), functional constituencies, and are not rare among geographical constituencies.


India

Independent candidates can contest elections on the basis of their personal appeal or to promote an ideology different from any party. Independents currently hold 6 seats in the Indian Parliament.


Malaysia

Independents have rarely been elected to the Dewan Rakyat and state legislative assemblies. In Malaysian elections, many independent candidates lose their election deposit because they had failed to secure at least 12.5% or one-eighth of the total votes cast. Independent List of members of the Dewan Negara, Senators are quite rare. In 2010, a group of independent MPs who were sacked from the People's Justice Party formed a political block called '':ms:Konsensus Bebas, Konsensus Bebas''. The members were Zahrain Mohamed Hashim (Bayan Baru), Wee Choo Keong (Wangsa Maju), Zulkifli Noordin (Kulim-Bandar Bharu), Tan Tee Beng (Nibong Tebal) dan Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri (Bagan Serai). It did not last beyond the 12th General Elections. , three independent MPs were elected in Malaysian General Election, GE14, but later joining Pakatan Harapan (People's Justice Party (Malaysia), PKR), thus causing no representation for independent MP for that time. However, as of June 2018 and December 2018, the number increased to 13 independent Members of Parliament that now currently sit in the Dewan Rakyat as of December 2018. At the same time in December 2018, almost all members from Sabah UMNO quit the party and became independent politicians. Maszlee Malik quit Homeland Fighters' Party and became an independent MP fighting for education activist.


Dewan Negara (Senate)


= Senators

=


Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives)


= Members of Parliament of the 14th Malaysian Parliament

=


Malaysian State Assembly Representatives

Sabah State Legislative Assembly Perak State Legislative Assembly Sarawak State Legislative Assembly


North Korea

Parliamentary independent candidates: The system in place whither the DPRK allows for unserious independent politicians to launch their own campaigns to gain a seat in parliament. The candidates however must be approved by the Fatherland Front, being the primary party of the DPRK. To cast votes to independent candidates the voting population must do so at independent voting stations. At the stations Korean people can debate extensively on which independent candidates would do the best for the Korean country. Nearly all electoral systems currently in practice in the DPRK that exist on a local level are made up of mostly independent Candidates, as the Fatherland Front and other major party's primarily operate in the urban heartland of the DPRK. These independent candidates will enjoy substantial debating in front of their local populations, before a vote is made. On the local level of North Korean elections, alliances between independent candidates is banned.


Pakistan

Pakistan also has independent politicians standing in elections. Pakistan's Parliament has 2008 Pakistani general election, General Elections, 2008 elected 30 Members. In the 2011 four candidates won seats in the National Assembly. In the 2013 General Election nine seats were won by independents.


Philippines

Noli de Castro, the Philippines' former Vice President of the Philippines, vice president, 2001 Philippine general election, ran as senator in 2001 with no political party affiliation. He was a guest candidate of the opposition Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, Pwersa ng Masa coalition but he never joined their campaign rallies. He won in the senate race with the highest votes (then) in Philippine history. In 2004, he ran 2004 Philippine presidential election, as vice president as a guest candidate of the administration Koalisyon ng Katapatan at Karanasan sa Kinabukasan, K-4 coalition and won with just under majority of the vote. Starting in 2001, several Senate of the Philippines, senators had also resigned from their respective parties to become independents; at the start of the 15th Congress of the Philippines, 15th Congress, there were more independent senators than any other single political party. However, in contesting elections, all elected independents had been members of either the administration or the opposition coalition, until in the 2007 Philippine Senate election, 2007 Senate election when Gregorio Honasan (a former senator) was elected as an independent while not a being member of any coalition. Honasan was earlier 1995 Philippine Senate election, elected in 1995 as an independent candidate and being adopted by the Nationalist People's Coalition-led coalition to become the first elected independent senator since Magnolia Antonino in 1967 Philippine Senate election, 1967, although Antonino was a guest candidate of the Liberal Party (Philippines), Liberal Party then. In the local level, former priest Eddie Panlilio was elected as governor of Pampanga in 2007, defeating two administration candidates. When Panlilio eventually transferred to the Liberal Party in time for the 2010 election, it was ruled that he was beaten in the 2007 election; in 2010, he was defeated. In the 2010 Philippine House of Representatives elections, 2010 House of Representatives elections, seven independents were elected, although all but two joined a political party after the elections. In contesting elections, independent candidates, while can spend as much as those with parties can under the law, they aren't able to tap in spending from a political party that nominated them. Independent candidates are different from Nonpartisanism, nonpartisan politicians; the former are elected in openly partisan elections, while the latter participate in nonpartisan elections such as barangay elections. Local legislatures may find itself with independent and nonpartisan members.


Taiwan

After the 2018 Taiwanese local elections, there is only one independent local head: * Ko Wen-je, Mayor of Taipei. In 2019, Ko Wen-je founded the Taiwan People's Party, so there is no independent local head at the moment.


Europe


Bulgaria

The President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev is an independent with support from the Bulgarian Socialist Party. Radev was elected in the 2016 Bulgarian presidential election, 2016 presidential election. An independent politician can enter into parliament only if they gather enough votes to pass the 4% threshold, thus behaving like political parties. However they can be part of a civic quota of a given party. Civic quotas are lists of independents candidates, who are represented on a given party's electoral list, without directly joining the party. Every party has the capability to invite independent candidates into their lists, without forcing them to join the party itself. Currently only the big-tent coalition Stand Up! Mafia, Get Out!, ISMV is known to have independent parliament members, elected via the civic quota.


Croatia

After an inconclusive election in 2015 Croatian parliamentary election, 2015, Tihomir Orešković (politician), Tihomir Orešković was named the first non-partisan Prime Minister of Croatia.


Estonia

All President of Estonia, Estonian presidents are forced to retire from any political party they may be in.


Finland

Marshal of Finland, Marshal C. G. E. Mannerheim, who served as the President of Finland from 1944 to 1946, didn't want to be affiliated with any party. Also, after serving six years on his first term as the 12th President of Finland in the National Coalition Party from 2012 to 2018, Sauli Niinistö was elected for his second term in 2018 after running as an independent candidate.


France

In France, independent politicians are frequently categorised as ''sans étiquette'' ("without label") in municipal or district elections. In the nineteenth-century and first half of the twentieth century, most French national politicians were independents. The first modern French political parties date from the early 1900s (foundation of Popular Liberal Action, Action Libérale and the Radical Party (France), Radical Party). The first legislation on political parties dates from 1911, though it was not until 1928 that parliamentarians were required to select a political party for the parliamentary register (either by formally joining a group, or by loosely working with one as an ''apparenté'', or associate), and not until after 1945 that structured political parties came to dominate parliamentary work. Once elected, independents tended to attach themselves to a parliamentary party. In some cases independent deputies banded together to form a technical group of their own. In 1932, for instance, there were four technical groups created: the left-of-centre Independent Left (France), Independent Left, with 12 deputies; the centre-right liberal Independents of the Left, with 26 deputies; the right-wing Agrarianism, agrarian Independents of Economic, Social and Peasant Action, Independents for Economic, Social and Peasant Action, with six deputies; and the far-right Monarchism in France, monarchist Republican Independents, Independent Group, with 12 deputies - these four technical groups thus accounted for one-tenth of deputies. In addition, the larger parliamentary parties, including the socialist SFIO, centre-left PRRRS, centre-right ARD and conservative FR all included a greater or lesser number of independents who sat with their group for parliamentary work (''apparentés''). In 1920, Alexandre Millerand was elected President of France, president of the Republic under the banner "without label". However, it is nowadays rare to have independent politicians at national level, if only because independents usually affiliate themselves to an existing political grouping. Noteworthy independents include José Bové in the 2007 presidential election. Emmanuel Macron was an independent politician as Minister, but formed his own party to stand in the 2017 presidential election. From 2001 to 2008 "without label" was no longer used in the nomenclature of the Minister of the Interior (France), Ministry of the Interior. Candidates and lists presenting themselves as "without label" are classified in DVG (various left), DVD (various right), DVC (various center) or AUT (other) according to their political sensitivity. Therefore, from 2008 onwards, the DIV (miscellaneous) or the LDIV code for the "miscellaneous" list has been created to group unclassifiable or categorical interests and, by default, mayors without a declared label claiming no political sensitivity, be it left, center or right. The AUT (other) grade replaces the DIV grade without changing its definition.


Georgia

Salome Zourabichvili won the 2018 Georgian presidential election as an independent candidate, becoming the first-ever female President of Georgia.


Germany

Joachim Gauck, President of Germany from March 2012 to March 2017 and the first Federal President without party affiliation, was to date the most prominent independent politician. In the 2010 German presidential election, German presidential election of 2010 he was the candidate of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, Social Democrats and Alliance '90/The Greens, Greens, in 2012 German presidential election, 2012 the candidate of all major parties except The Left (Germany), The Left. His presidency—though his powers are limited—constitutes an exception, as Independent politicians have rarely held high office in German history, at least not since World War II. It has nevertheless happened that a presidential candidate without any chances of election by the Federal Convention (Germany), Federal Convention was not a party member: for example, when in 1984 the Greens came up with the writer Luise Rinser. In the Bundestag parliament nearly all deputies belong to a political party. The voting system of mixed-member proportional representation, personalized proportional representation (since 1949) allows any individual holding the suffrage, passive right to vote to stand for a direct Mandate (politics), mandate in the electoral districts—299 of the seats in parliament are distributed by districts according to a plurality voting system. Such a candidate has to present 200 signatures in favor of their candidacy, the same as a candidate of a party that had no parliamentary presentation previously. The first 1949 West German federal election, Bundestag election in 1949 saw three independents elected; since then, no party-independent candidate has won a seat. At States of Germany, state level, the situation is more or less the same: only party members have a real chance to be elected to a Landtag legislature, and state ministers without party membership are just as rare as at the federal level. However, in local elections it may occur that an independent politician is elected deputy to Districts of Germany, districts', cities' and municipalities' assemblies, as well as member of a city council or even
mayor In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official An official is someone who holds an office (function or , regardless whether it carries an actual with it) in an or government and participates in the exercise of , (either their ow ...

mayor
, especially in Northern Germany. In recent years, independents have formed Free Voters associations which have had success in local governments. Two such associations have managed to enter state parliaments: the Free Voters of Bavaria in 2008 and the Brandenburg United Civic Movements/Free Voters in 2019. An independent member of parliament, who also is not a member of a voters' association, holds the status of ''fraktionsloser Abgeordneter'', i.e. not affiliated to any parliamentary group. A representative who either leaves their party (and their parliamentary group) or is expelled from it and does not join another becomes ''fraktionslos''. In 1989 the Bundestag MP Thomas Wüppesahl, who had left the Green Party in 1987 and was excluded from the Green parliamentary group the next year, obtained more rights as a ''fraktionsloser Abgeordneter'', for example more talking time and representation in a subcommittee, when the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, Federal Constitutional Court decided partially in their favor. After the Unification of Germany, German unification of 1871, the first Chancellor of Germany, Reich Chancellors (head of government, heads of government) ''de jure'' served as executive officers of the German Empire, German Imperial states as non-partisans, usually recruited from the traditional bureaucratic, aristocratic and/or military elites. In the fierce political conflicts during the Weimar Republic, Weimar period after World War I, several chancellors and Reich Ministers also had no party affiliation: these chancellors were Wilhelm Cuno (1922–1923), Hans Luther (1925–1926), the former Centre Party (Germany), Centre politician Franz von Papen (1932), and Kurt von Schleicher (1932–1933). The last two Cabinet of Germany, cabinets appointed by Reich President Paul von Hindenburg, a non-partisan (though strongly Conservatism in Germany, Conservative) himself, were regarded as apolitical cabinets of experts with regard to the rise of the Nazi Party; many of the ministers were not party members. Since World War II, only two ministers of (West) German cabinets have not been party members, though "on the ticket" of the major party in the coalition, the Social Democrats: Education Minister Hans Leussink (1969–1972), and Minister of Economy Werner Müller (politician), Werner Müller (1998–2002). Minister of Justice Klaus Kinkel only shortly after his appointment joined the Free Democratic Party (Germany), Free Democrats in 1991. A special case is the former Federal Minister and Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, whose affiliation with the Christian Democratic Union (Germany), Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has not been conclusively established: although he served as Minister of Economics from 1949 to 1963 and as Federal Chancellor from 1963 to 1966, and was even elected CDU party chairman in 1966, it seems that he never signed a membership form or paid contributions. Researches by ''Der Stern'' magazine have revealed a record at the CDU party archives created only in 1968, with the faked date of entry of early March 1949.


Iceland

The President of Iceland (currently Guðni Th. Jóhannesson) is independent.


Ireland

In Ireland, proportional representation, the comparative looseness of formal parties, and strong local sentiment have meant that independents have formed a significant part of the parliamentary landscape since the Irish Free State, foundation of the state: in the early elections to Dáil Éireann (Irish Free State), Dáil Éireann (parliament), independents accounted for 1922 Irish general election, 7% of seats in 1922, 1923 Irish general election, 8.5% in 1923, June 1927 Irish general election, 10.5% in 1927, and 1932 Irish general election, 9% in 1932, though with the development of relatively more structured parties their numbers declined thereafter. These were similar proportions to the number of independents elected to other interwar European democracies such as France (see above). It was not until the 2010s that independents would see a similar electoral success, with record scores for independents surpassing the previous interwar highs. After the 2016 Irish general election, Irish general election in 2016, there were 19 independent Teachtaí Dála, TDs (parliamentary deputies) in the Dáil Éireann, Dáil (the lower house of the Irish parliament), representing 12% of the total. Two technical groups were formed by independent deputies to coordinate their activities: the Independents4Change, with four deputies, opposed the government, while the Independent Alliance (Ireland), Independent Alliance formed part of the minority government's working majority. A number of other individual independents similarly supported the government, and received cabinet positions. There are fourteen independent senators in the Members of the 25th Seanad, 25th Seanad Éireann, Seanad (the upper house of the Irish parliament), representing 23% of the total. Three of these are elected by the graduates of the National University of Ireland and two from Trinity College Dublin, Dublin University. There are also five independent senators who were nominated by the Taoiseach and four elected by the technical panels.


Italy

The Prime Ministers Carlo Azeglio Ciampi (1993–1994), Lamberto Dini (1995–1996), Giuliano Amato (2000–2001), Mario Monti (2011–2013) and Giuseppe Conte (2018–2021) were independent when they were in office. Ciampi was also the President of the Italian Republic between 1999 and 2006. President Sergio Mattarella, despite being a former member of the Christian Democracy (Italy), Christian Democracy and of the Democratic Party (Italy), Democratic Party, was elected president in 2015 as an independent (he was member of the Constitutional Court at the moment of his election). The current Prime Minister of the Italian Republic Mario Draghi is definable as independent as well.


Kosovo

Atifete Jahjaga was elected the first female and Independent President of Kosovo. She was also the first female and independent elected leader in the whole of the Balkans.


Poland

The Polish Sejm is elected by party-list ordination, which does not allow lone candidates to run, although since 2001 there has been a possibility to create non-partisan ''Voters' Electoral Committee'' (pol. ''KWW'', ''komitet wyborczy wyborców''); they are by almost any means party lists, but no officially registered party is behind them. They can be unregistered parties, e.g. Kukiz'15, or non-partisan movements, although the latter never reached the 5% threshold. National minorities candidates also form Voters' Electoral Committees (like German Minority Electoral Committee, represented in Sejm since 1991), but they do not have to reach the nationwide threshold. However, during a Sejm term many members switch parties or become independents. Tickets such as Civic Platform during the 2001 Polish parliamentary election, 2001 election were formally non-partisan, Civic Platform was widely viewed as a de facto political party, as it is now. The situation in the Senate of Poland, Senate is different, as the voting system allows independents to run as single candidates and some are elected in their own right. In the last parliamentary election (2015 Polish parliamentary election, 2015) four independents won seats in the Senate. Three President of Poland, Presidents since 1990 have technically been independents. Lech Wałęsa was not an endorsed candidate of any party, but the chairman of the Solidarity (Polish trade union), Solidarity and he was elected without full support of this union (Solidarity votes split between him and Prime Minister of Poland, Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki). Aleksander Kwaśniewski was a leader of the Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland, but formally resigned from the party after he was elected, as did Lech Kaczyński, who was the first leader of Law and Justice, Bronisław Komorowski (Civic Platform, PO) and Andrzej Duda (Law and Justice, PiS). The resignation is required because the Constitution says that the president shall hold no other offices nor discharge any public functions. The aforementioned presidents often participated in their party's campaigns (e.g. Andrzej Duda in the Law and Justice campaign three months after his resignation from the party).


Portugal

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the current president of Portugal since 6 March 2016, was elected on 24 January 2016 while being a leading member of the Social Democratic Party (Portugal), Social Democratic Party, but suspended his political affiliation on the day of his Swearing in, swearing-in.


Russia

All of Russia's President of Russia, Presidents have been independents. Former president Dmitry Medvedev declined an offer to join United Russia, saying that he believes the President should be an independent so that he serves the interests of the country rather than his political party. Vladimir Putin, the current president of Russia, was the head of the United Russia party until 26 May 2012, but even then was not its member, thus formally was and still is independent.


Sweden

The Swedish election system is based on parties nominating candidate MPs for their party ballots, and each party has to receive 4% or more of the national vote (or 12% in one region, which has never happened independently of also reaching the different 4% threshold). This makes running as an independent MP impossible. Once elected, the seat is personal; MPs may resign their party membership, or be stripped of it, while retaining their Riksdag seats to become independent to become what is commonly referred to as a ''politisk vilde'' (''political savage'') symbol: (-). In the Government of Sweden, Government (executive cabinet), there is no requirement for ministers to be MPs, or even have a political affiliation (though this has overwhelmingly been the case in modern times). This means that even the Prime Minister of Sweden, Prime Minister could technically be an independent if chosen by the Riksdag.


United Kingdom

The Registration of Political Parties Act 1998 laid down the first specific rules in the United Kingdom relating to the use of the term 'independent' by election candidates. That Act was repealed with most of its contents covered by Part II of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. Candidates standing for United Kingdom local elections and United Kingdom parliamentary elections, including the devolved parliaments and assemblies, can use the name of a registered political party, or the term 'Independent' (or its Welsh language equivalent ''annibynol'') or no ballot paper description at all (this latter choice was used, for example, by David Icke at the 2008 Haltemprice and Howden by-election). Some groups in the United Kingdom who are not affiliated to any national or regional party have registered locality-based political parties. Some English examples are the Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern, the Epsom and Ewell Residents Association, the Devizes Guardians, the Derwentside Independents, and the East Yorkshire Independents.


House of Commons

Before the twentieth century it was fairly common for independents to be elected to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, but there have been very few since 1945. S. O. Davies, a veteran Labour Party (UK), Labour MP, held his Merthyr Tydfil seat in the General Election of 1970, standing as an independent, after he had been deselected by the Labour Party. Journalist Martin Bell was elected at Tatton (UK Parliament constituency), Tatton in the 1997 United Kingdom general election, general election of 1997, having stood on an anti-corruption platform, defeating incumbent Neil Hamilton (politician), Neil Hamilton. He was the first independent to be newly elected to the Commons since 1951.Martin Bell's 1997 election was the first election of an Independent in the UK since 1951: He stood unsuccessfully in a different constituency in 2001. At the 2001 United Kingdom general election, 2001 General Election, Richard Taylor (UK politician), Dr Richard Taylor of the Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern party was elected for the constituency of Wyre Forest (UK Parliament constituency), Wyre Forest. Taylor was re-elected for Wyre Forest at the 2005 United Kingdom general election, 2005 General Election, becoming the only independent in recent times to have been elected for a second term. Two independent (or local party) members of parliament were elected in the 2005 United Kingdom general election, 2005 election, although both were defeated five years later. In the same election, Peter Law was elected as an independent at Blaenau Gwent (UK Parliament constituency), Blaenau Gwent. Law died on 25 April 2006: the resulting 2006 Blaenau Gwent by-elections, by-election elected Dai Davies (politician), Dai Davies of the local party Blaenau Gwent People's Voice. The by-election was unusual as it was the first time in over eighty years that an independent had held a seat previously occupied by another independent. Only one independent was elected to the Commons in the 2010 United Kingdom general election, 2010, 2015 United Kingdom general election, 2015 and 2017 United Kingdom general election, 2017 elections: Sylvia Hermon, the member for North Down (UK Parliament constituency), North Down, a Unionism in Ireland, Unionist who left the Ulster Unionist Party because of its links with the Conservative Party (UK), Conservatives. There have also been several instances of politicians being elected to the Commons as representatives of a political party, then resigning the party's whip, or having it withdrawn. Examples in this in the 2010-2015 parliament included Mike Hancock (British politician), Mike Hancock (formerly a Liberal Democrat), Eric Joyce (formerly Labour) and Nadine Dorries, a Conservative who had the whip withdrawn for part of the parliament and thus sat as an independent during that time. Independent candidates often stand in British parliamentary elections, often with platforms about specific local issues, but usually without success. An example from the 2001 United Kingdom general election, 2001 general election was Aston Villa supporter Ian Robinson, who stood as an independent in the Sutton Coldfield (UK Parliament constituency), Sutton Coldfield constituency in protest at the way chairman Doug Ellis ran the football club. Another example an independent candidate, in the Salisbury (UK Parliament constituency), Salisbury constituency, is Arthur Uther Pendragon, a local activist and self-declared reincarnation of King Arthur. Other independent candidates are associated with a political party and may be former members of it, but cannot stand under its label. For instance, after being expelled from the Labour Party but before the RESPECT The Unity Coalition, Respect Coalition was founded, British Member of parliament, Member of Parliament (MP) George Galloway described himself as "Independent Labour". On 23 March 2005 the Independent Network was set up to support independent candidates in the General Election. The Independent Network still supports Independent candidates in local, regional, national and European elections. It has an organic set of principles which are known as the Bell Principles and are very closely related to Committee on Standards in Public Life, Lord Nolan's Standards of Public Life. The Independent Network does not impose any ideology or political influence on their candidates. In March 2009, the multi-millionaire Paul Judge established the Jury Team, an umbrella organisation dedicated to increasing the number of independent candidates standing in Britain, in both national and European elections.


=Independent and undescribed candidates

= Part II of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 allows individuals who wish to stand as a candidate to all parliaments and assemblies in the UK, including the House of Commons, the right to use one of three ballot paper descriptions. Those descriptions are the name of a registered political party; the word "independent"; or no description at all. Unless a candidate stands as "independent" or as a "No Description" candidate leaving the ballot paper description box blank, their candidature must be confirmed by a signed certificate from the relevant officer from a registered political party, as set out in Section 52 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006.


House of Lords

The House of Lords includes many peers independent from political parties. Some are simply Non-affiliated members of the House of Lords, not affiliated with any grouping, whilst another, larger, grouping is given the official designation of Crossbench#United Kingdom, crossbenchers. Additionally the Lords Spiritual (bishops of the Church of England) do not have party affiliations.


Scottish Parliament, Senedd (Welsh Parliament) and Northern Irish Assembly

In the 2003 Scottish Parliament election, 2003 Scottish Parliamentary elections, three Members of the Scottish Parliament, MSPs were elected as Independents: Dennis Canavan (Falkirk West (Scottish Parliament constituency), Falkirk West), Jean Turner, Dr Jean Turner (Strathkelvin and Bearsden (Scottish Parliament constituency), Strathkelvin and Bearsden) and Margo MacDonald (Lothians (Scottish Parliament electoral region), Lothians). In 2004 Campbell Martin (West of Scotland (Scottish Parliament electoral region), West of Scotland region) left the Scottish National Party to become an independent and in 2005 Brian Monteith (Mid Scotland and Fife (Scottish Parliament electoral region), Mid Scotland and Fife) left the Conservative Party (UK), Conservative Party to become an independent. At the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, 2007 Scottish Parliamentary elections Margo MacDonald was again returned as an independent MSP and was elected as an independent for the third time 2011 Scottish Parliament election, four years later. She died in 2014 while still serving as member of the Parliament. As she was elected as an independent regional MSP, there could be no by-election and her seat remained vacant until the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, 2016 election. Peter Law was expelled from the Labour Party after standing against an official Labour candidate in Blaenau Gwent at the 2005 UK general election and became an independent in the National Assembly and UK Parliament. In 2006 Peter Law died from a brain tumour and his wife, Trish Law campaigned and took the seat as an independent candidate at the sequent by-election and held onto the seat again in the 2007 National Assembly for Wales election, 2007 Welsh Assembly elections. In 2016, Nathan Gill as the then leader of UKIP Wales defected from the group to sit as an independent after a falling out with Neil Hamilton (politician), Neil Hamilton who was elected UKIP Assembly group leader. Dafydd Elis-Thomas left the Plaid Cymru group later in 2016 after multiple fallings out with Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood. Elis-Thomas said his reason for leaving Plaid Cymru was that it not serious about working with the Welsh Labour Government. Neil McEvoy was expelled from Plaid Cymru on 16 January 2018 and sat as an independent AM until 2021. Nathan Gill stood down on 27 December 2017 and was replaced by Mandy Jones. Mandy Jones left the UKIP group on 9 January 2018 over a fallout over her staff.


Local elections

The introduction of Directly elected mayors in England and Wales, directly elected mayors in several parts of England has witnessed the election of independents to run councils in Stoke-on-Trent, Middlesbrough (borough), Middlesbrough, Borough of Bedford, Bedford, Hartlepool (borough), Hartlepool and Mansfield (district), Mansfield. The first Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, was 2000 London mayoral election, first elected as an independent, having run against the official Labour candidate Frank Dobson. He was subsequently re-admitted to the Labour Party in December 2003 before his first re-election campaign. Independent candidates frequently stand and are elected to local councils. There is a special Independent group of the Local Government Association to cater for them. A number of local authorities have been entirely or almost entirely composed of independent members, such as the City of London Corporation, the 2009 Council of the Isles of Scilly election, Isles of Scilly Council, Orkney Islands Council, Shetland Islands Council and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) in the Outer Hebrides. Roughly a quarter of the police and crime commissioners elected in England and Wales in the 2012 England and Wales police and crime commissioner elections, 2012 election were independents.


Middle East


Israel

The only Israeli politician elected to the Knesset by his own was Shmuel Flatto-Sharon.


Oceania


Australia

Independents are a recurrent feature of the federal Parliament of Australia, and they are more commonly elected to state parliaments. There have been up to five independents in every federal parliament since 1990, and independents have won twenty-eight times during national elections in that time. A large proportion of independents are former members of one of Australia's four main parties, the Australian Labor Party, the Liberal Party of Australia, the Australian Greens, or the National Party of Australia. In 2013 a political party named the Australian Independents was registered with the Australian Electoral Commission. At the dissolution of parliament before the 2019 Australian federal election, 2019 federal election, four independents sat in the Australian House of Representatives: Andrew Wilkie (Member for Division of Denison, Denison), Cathy McGowan (politician), Cathy McGowan (Member for Division of Indi, Indi), Kerryn Phelps (Member for Division of Wentworth, Wentworth), and Julia Banks (Member for Division of Chisholm, Chisholm). Of these, Wilkie had previously been a Greens candidate, McGowan had been a Liberal staffer, and Banks was elected as a Liberal MP before resigning from the party in November 2018. At the 2019 election, Wilkie was re-elected as the Member for Division of Clark, Clark, while McGowan retired, and both Phelps and Banks lost their seats. However, two new independents entered parliament: Zali Steggall (Member for Division of Warringah, Warringah) and Helen Haines (Member for Division of Indi, Indi). Independent Australian Senate, Senators are quite rare. In modern politics, Independent Brian Harradine served from 1975 to 2005 with considerable influence at times. Nick Xenophon was the only elected independent Senator after his election to the Senate at the 2007 Australian federal election, 2007 federal election and was re-elected for another six-year term at the 2013 Australian federal election, 2013 federal election. He resigned from the Australian Senate in 2017 to contest a seat in the House of Assembly of South Australia. Democratic Labour Party (Australia), DLP Senator John Madigan (Australian politician), John Madigan became an independent Senator in September 2014, but lost his seat in the 2016 Australian federal election, 2016 elections. Palmer United Party, PUP Senators Jacqui Lambie and Glenn Lazarus became Independent Senators in November 2014 and March 2015. Lambie was re-elected in 2019 with the support of the Jacqui Lambie Network.


New Zealand

Originally, there were no recognised parties in the New Zealand parliament, although loose groupings did exist informally (initially between supporters of central government versus provincial governments, and later between liberals and conservatives). The foundation of formal political parties, starting at the end of the 19th century, considerably diminished the number of unaffiliated politicians, although a smaller number of independent candidates continued to be elected up until the 1940s. Since then, however, there have been relatively few independent politicians in Parliament. No independent candidate has won or held a seat in a general election since 1943 New Zealand general election, 1943, although two independent candidates have been successful in by-elections (in all cases after having held the seats in question as partisan candidates up until that point). Other politicians have become independents in the course of a parliamentary term, but not been voted into office as such. The last person to be directly elected to Parliament as an independent in New Zealand was Winston Peters, who won the in electorate as an independent after having previously held it a member of the New Zealand National Party, National Party. By the time of the 1993 New Zealand general election, next general election, he had formed his own party (New Zealand First), and thus was no longer standing as an independent. Since that time, the only independents in Parliament have been people who quit or were expelled from their original party but retained their seats without going through a by-election. Some have gone on to found or co-found their own parties, with varying levels of success — examples include Peter Dunne, Taito Phillip Field, Gordon Copeland, Tau Henare, and Alamein Kopu. Others have joined parties which were then outside Parliament, such as Frank Grover and Tuariki Delamere. There were two independent MPs in the 49th New Zealand Parliament; Chris Carter (politician), Chris Carter and Hone Harawira. Carter became an independent after his criticisms of the New Zealand Labour Party, Labour Party's leadership resulted in his being expelled from the Labour caucus, while Harawira resigned from the Māori Party and, after a short period as an independent, also resigned as an MP in order to force the when he was re-elected as representative of his new political party, Mana Party (New Zealand), Mana and retained the seat in the 2011 General Election. There were also two other parties which had only a single MP: United Future with Peter Dunne and ACT New Zealand, ACT with David Seymour (New Zealand politician), David Seymour. Neither Dunne nor Seymour was classed as an independent — Dunne's presence in Parliament was due to personal votes in his home electorate, and Seymour's presence was as the sole elected MP of ACT because of a collapse in their support in the . In the 50th New Zealand Parliament there was one independent MP: Brendan Horan, a former New Zealand First MP who was expelled from his party because of allegations of misappropriation of family assets. Peter Dunne effectively became an Independent MP for a short period after his United Future political party was deregistered on 25 June 2013 by the Electoral Commission, as the party no longer had the required minimum of 500 members. The party was subsequently re-registered two months later.


Niue

In Niue, there have been no political parties since 2003, when the Niue People's Party disbanded, and all politicians are ''de facto'' independents. The government depends on an informal coalition.


See also

* Backbencher * Centrism * Electoral reform * Benjamin Franklin * Independent voter * Non-partisan democracy * Nonpartisanism * Radical center (politics), Radical centrism * Swing vote * Syncretic politics * Third party (United States)


Notes


References

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External links


Independent Political Candidate Directory
{{Authority control Independent politicians, Political terminology