An independent or nonpartisan politician is an individual politician
not affiliated with any political party. There are numerous reasons
why someone may stand for office as an independent.
Independents may support policies which are different from those of
the major political parties.
In some parts of the world, electors may have a tradition of electing
independents, so standing for a political party is a disadvantage.
In some countries (including Russia), a political party can only be
registered if it has a large number of members in more than one
region, but in certain regions only a minority of electors support the
In some countries (including Kuwait), political parties are unlawful
and all candidates thus stand as independents.
In some countries where politics is otherwise traditionally partisan,
such as the United States, subnational bodies and offices such as the
Nebraska State Legislature
Nebraska State Legislature and various directly-elected judicial and
executive positions are nonpartisan and require politicians to abstain
from running for office as part of a political party, even if they may
be a member of one.
In some countries where politics is otherwise traditionally partisan,
such as Mongolia, the incumbent
President must always be an
independent and cannot run for reelection as a member of a political
Some independent politicians may be associated with a political 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"
8 Hong Kong
16 New Zealand
23 United Kingdom
23.1 House of Commons
23.2 House of Lords
23.3 Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and Northern Irish Assembly
23.4 Local elections
24 United States
24.3 Congress – House of Representatives and Senate
24.4 State and local offices
25 See also
26 Notes and references
27 External links
Main article: Independent politicians in 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 time five independents in every federal parliament
since 1990, and independents have won twenty-eight times during
national elections in that time. A large number 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
As at 2017, two independents sit in the Australian House of
Andrew Wilkie from Denison in
Tasmania (former Greens
candidate) and Cathy McGowan from Indi in Victoria.
Independent Senators are quite rare. In modern politics, independent
Brian Harradine served from 1975 to 2005 with considerable influence
Nick Xenophon has been the only elected independent Senator
since his election to the Senate at the 2007 federal election.
Xenophon was re-elected for another six-year term at the 2013 federal
election. DLP Senator John Madigan became an independent Senator in
September 2014, while PUP Senators
Jacqui Lambie and Glenn Lazarus
became independent Senators in November 2014 and March 2015.
The independent politicians are not allowed to run for offices in
Brazil. The Constitution of 1988, in its Article 14, §3rd, item V,
says that "Are conditions for elegibility: V - party affiliation."
However, the Proposal Amendment to the Constitution (PEC) no. 6/2015,
authored by 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 legislative and executive can leave their respective
parties after elected, as is the case of senator Reguffe, who left the
Democratic Labour Party (PDT) in 2016.
President of Bulgaria
President of Bulgaria
Rumen Radev is an independent with support
from the Bulgarian Socialist Party. Radev was elected in the Bulgarian
presidential election of 2016.
Independent Liberal and Independent Conservative
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
Independent Conservative MPs into the 1950s.
Independent politicians have held considerable sway in the House of
Commons of Canada in recent years as Canada has been governed by
successive minority governments with independent Members of Parliament
(MPs) sometimes sharing in the balance of power.
In the 2004 federal election,
Chuck Cadman was elected to federal
parliament as an independent MP representing the British Columbia
riding of Surrey North. Cadman had previously represented that riding
on behalf of the
Reform Party of Canada
Reform Party of Canada and Canadian Alliance, but
Canadian Alliance merged with the Progressive Conservative
Party of Canada to form the new
Conservative Party of Canada
Conservative Party of Canada in 2003,
Cadman lost the nomination to represent the Conservative Party in that
riding to Jasbir Singh Cheema. Cadman then stood in the subsequent
election as an independent and defeated Cheema, as well as the
candidates of other Canadian parties, by a significant margin.
In the spring of 2005, Cadman cast the tying vote in favour of a
budget supported by the Liberal Party government of
Paul Martin as
well as the New Democratic Party (NDP), but opposed by the opposition
Conservatives and Bloc Québécois. Two other independents also voted
on that budget. Carolyn Parrish, independent MP for
Mississauga—Erindale, had recently been kicked out of the Liberal
Party for criticizing US president George W Bush, but nonetheless
sided with the Liberals on the budget vote.
David Kilgour independent
MP for Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, had previously quit the
Liberal caucus and voted with the opposition parties against the
budget. The tie vote required the Speaker of the House Peter Milliken
to cast the deciding vote, and he did so in favor of the budget,
allowing the government to survive.
Cadman was terminally ill with cancer at the time he cast his crucial
vote, and he died later in 2005. In the 2006 federal election, his
riding was won by NDP candidate Penny Priddy. Neither Parrish nor
Kilgour (nor Pat O'Brien, MP for London—Fanshawe, who quit the
Liberal Party to sit as an independent after the 2005 budget vote)
stood for re-election in 2006.
Another independent candidate, André Arthur, was elected in the
Quebec riding of
Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier in 2006, and was the only
independent to win a seat in that election. He was re-elected in the
October 14, 2008 federal election. Former Progressive Conservative and
Conservative MP Bill Casey, who was expelled from the Conservative
Party for voting against the 2007 Federal Budget, also ran as an
independent in the 2008 election, easily retaining his seat.
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
The territorial legislatures of the
Northwest Territories and Nunavut
are consensus governments with no political parties, so that all
members sit as independents. There are a few independent members of
the other subnational legislatures, which are similar in principle to
the federal House of Commons; for example, in the 2009 election in
British Columbia, independent candidate
Vicki Huntington narrowly
defeated incumbent Attorney General
Wally Oppal as MLA for Delta
True independents should not be confused with members of parties
without official party status in a legislature. Most legislatures
provide that a party must hold a certain number of seats to enjoy
certain advantages in staffing, budget, ability to ask questions in
Question Period, and the like. Although members whose parties do not
hold this status may have no more privileges than independent members,
they remain representatives of political parties.
Also, members who are expelled from or choose to leave their party
caucus may sit as "Independent" with some designation, e.g.,
"Independent Liberal" or "Independent Conservative", to indicate their
affiliation to that party even if it is not officially recognized.
Election as an independent is far more common at the municipal level.
Many municipalities have no tradition of political parties.
After an inconclusive election in 2015 Tihomir Orešković was named
the first non-partisan Prime Minister of Croatia.
In France, independent politicians are frequently categorised as sans
étiquette ("without label") in municipal or district elections.
However, it is rare to have independent politicians at national level,
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.
Alexandre Millerand was elected president of the Republic
under the banner "without label".
From 2001 to 2008 "without label" was no longer used in the
nomenclature of the 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
President of Germany
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 German presidential
election of 2010 he was the candidate of the Social Democrats and
Greens, in 2012 the candidate of all major parties except 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 was not a party member: for example, when in
1984 the Greens came up with the writer Luise Rinser.
Bundestag parliament nearly all deputies belong to a political
party. The voting system of personalized proportional representation
(since 1949) allows any individual holding the passive right to vote
to stand for a direct mandate in the electoral districts—half 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 his candidacy, the same as a candidate of a
party that had no parliamentary presentation previously. The first
Bundestag election in 1949 saw three independents elected; since then,
no party-independent candidate has won a seat. At 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', cities' and
municipalities' assemblies, as well as member of a city council or
even mayor, especially in Northern Germany. In recent years,
independents have formed
Free Voters associations to enter Landtag
parliaments, so far only successful in Bavaria.
An independent MP, who also is not a member of a voters' association,
holds the status of a non-inscrit (German: fraktionsloser
Abgeordneter) not affiliated to any parliamentary group. A
representative who leaves his party (and his parliamentary group) and
does not join another becomes an independent and non-inscrit. In 1989
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 non-inscrit, for example more talking
time and representation in a subcommittee, when the Federal
Constitutional Court decided partially in his favor.
After the German unification of 1871, the first Reich Chancellors
(heads of government) de jure served as executive officers of the
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 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 politician
Franz von Papen
Franz von Papen (1932),
Kurt von Schleicher
Kurt von Schleicher (1932–1933). The last two cabinets appointed
President Paul von Hindenburg, a non-partisan (though
strongly 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 (1998–2002).
Minister of Justice
Klaus Kinkel only shortly after his appointment
joined the Free Democrats in 1991. A special case is the former
Federal Minister and Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, whose affiliation with
the 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.
More than half of Hong Kong's 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
constituencies, and are not rare among geographical constituencies.
President of Iceland
President of Iceland (currently Guðni Th. Jóhannesson) is
Independent candidate contest elections on the basis of their personal
appeal or to promote an ideology different from any party. Some are
also run as independent candidates after being sidelined by political
rivals within their own party, or to ensure that a rival candidate is
not elected. While some are genuine candidates, others have been
criticised as dummy candidates put forward by political parties to get
around the spending ceiling imposed by the Election Commission, or to
confuse voters by using party names similar to those of another
After the Irish general election in 2016, there were 19 independent
TDs (Members of Parliament) in the Dáil (the lower house of the Irish
parliament), representing 12% of the total. 4 TDs also sit for a
registered party called Independents4Change. A grouping of
independents, the Independent Alliance has agreed to support the
minority Government with a number of other individual independents
similarly agreeing and receiving cabinet positions.
There are fourteen independent senators in the 25th 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 Dublin University. There are also five
independent senators who were nominated by the
Taoiseach and four
elected by the technical panels.
Both of these are record highs for independents
The Prime Ministers
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi (1993 - 1994), Lamberto Dini
(1995 - 1996),
Giuliano Amato (2000 - 2001), and
Mario Monti (2011 -
2013) were independent when they were in office. Ciampi was also the
President of the Italian Republic
President of the Italian Republic between 1999 and 2006.
Atifete Jahjaga was elected the first female and
President of Kosovo. She was also the first female and
independent elected leader in the whole of the Balkans.
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 Senators are quite rare.
As of 2017, one independent politician sits in the Dewan Rakyat, Abdul
Khalid Ibrahim from Bandar Tun Razak, the constituency with the
highest registered voters in
Kuala Lumpur (former PKR candidate).
Jaime Heliodoro Rodríguez Calderón (born in 1957), sometimes
referred to by his nickname "El Bronco", is a Mexican politician who
is the current governor for the northern state of
Nuevo León and
holds no political party affiliation. As of June 7, 2015 elected
Governor for Nuevo León, making history as the first independent
candidate to win in the country.
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, 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 1993 by-election in
Tauranga electorate as an independent after having previously held it
a member of the National Party. By the time of the 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,
Frank Grover and Tuariki Delamere.
There were two independent MPs in the last Parliament; Chris Carter
and Hone Harawira. Carter became an independent after his criticisms
of the 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 2011 by-election when he was re-elected as
representative of his new political party, Mana and retained the seat
in the 2011 General Election. There are also two parties other which
have only a single MP
United Future with
Peter Dunne and ACT with
David Seymour. Neither Dunne nor Seymour are classed as independents
— Dunne's presence in Parliament is due to personal votes in his
home electorate, and Seymour's presence is as the sole elected MP of
ACT because of a collapse in their support in the 2011 election. In
50th New Zealand Parliament
50th New Zealand Parliament there was one independent MP: Brendan
Horan, a former
New Zealand First
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
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
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.
Pakistan is a Democratic country and also has Independent politician
standing in elections. Pakistan's Parliament has General Elections,
2008 Elected 30 Members. In Election 2011 has won the 4 candidates in
National Assembly.In General Election 2013, 9 seats won by
Noli de Castro, the Philippines' former vice president, ran as senator
in 2001 with no political party affiliation. He was a guest candidate
of the opposition 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 as vice president as a
guest candidate of the administration K-4 coalition and won with just
under majority of the vote.
Starting in 2001, several senators had also resigned from their
respective parties to become independents; at the start of the 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 Senate election when Gregorio
Honasan (a former senator) was elected as an independent while not a
being member of any coalition. Honasan was earlier elected in 1995 as
an independent candidate and being adopted by the Nationalist People's
Coalition-led coalition to become the first elected independent
Magnolia Antonino in 1967, although Antonino was a guest
candidate of the Liberal Party then.
In the local level, former priest
Eddie Panlilio was elected as
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 House of Representatives elections, seven independents
were elected, although all but two joined a political party after the
In contesting elections, independent candidates are required by law to
spend less than candidates nominated by a party.
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,
Sejm term many members switch parties or become independents.
Civic Platform during the 2001 election were formally
Civic Platform was widely viewed as a de facto political
party, as it is now.
The situation in the 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) four independents
won seats in the Senate.
Three Presidents since 1990 have technically been independents. Lech
Wałęsa was not an endorsed candidate of any party, but the chairman
of the Solidarity and he was elected without full support of this
union (Solidarity votes split between him and Prime Minister Tadeusz
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 (PO) and Andrzej Duda
(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).
All of Russia's 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
Russia party until 26 May 2012, but even then was not its
member, thus formally was and still is independent.
After the last local election in
Taiwan on 29 November 2014, there are
three independent local heads, which are:
Chen Fu-hai, Magistrate of Kinmen County
Fu Kun-chi, Magistrate of Hualien County
Registration of Political Parties Act 1998
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 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 Haltemprice and Howden
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
See also: List of UK minor party and independent MPs elected
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, the veteran 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.
Martin Bell was elected at Tatton in the General
Election of 1997, having stood on an anti-corruption platform. He was
the first independent to be newly elected to the Commons since
1951. He stood unsuccessfully in a different constituency in 2001.
At the 2001 General Election, Dr Richard Taylor of the Independent
Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern party was elected for the
constituency of Wyre Forest.
Two independent (or local party) members of parliament were elected in
the 2005 election, although both were defeated five years later.
At the same General Election,
Peter Law was elected as an independent
at Blaenau Gwent. Law died on 25 April 2006: the resulting by-election
elected 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
Also at the 2005 General Election Richard Taylor was re-elected for
Wyre Forest. This was notable for the fact that he was the only
independent in recent times to have been elected for a second term.
Only one independent was elected to the Commons in the 2010, 2015 and
2017 elections, Sylvia Hermon, the Member for North Down, a Unionist
who left the
Ulster Unionist Party
Ulster Unionist Party because of its links with the
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 (formerly a Liberal
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 general election was Aston Villa
supporter Ian Robinson, who stood as an independent in the Sutton
Coldfield constituency in protest at the way chairman
Doug Ellis ran
the football club. Another example an independent candidate, in the
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 Coalition was founded, British
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[clarification
needed] set of principles which are known as the Bell Principles and
are very closely related to 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 Sir
Paul Judge established the
Jury Team, an umbrella organisation dedicated to increasing the number
of independent candidates standing in Britain, in both national and
House of Lords
Main articles: Crossbencher, Non-affiliated members of the House of
Lords, and Lords Spiritual
House of Lords
House of Lords includes a large number of peers independent from
political parties. Some are simply not affiliated with any grouping,
whilst another, larger, grouping is given the official designation of
crossbenchers. Additionally the
Lords Spiritual (bishops of the Church
of England) do not have party affiliations.
Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and Northern Irish Assembly
In the 2003 Scottish Parliamentary elections, three MSPs were elected
Dennis Canavan (Falkirk West), Dr Jean Turner
(Strathkelvin and Bearsden) and
Margo MacDonald (Lothians). In 2004
Campbell Martin (West of Scotland region) left the Scottish National
Party to become an independent and in 2005
Brian Monteith (Mid
Scotland and Fife) left the Conservative Party to become an
independent. At the 2007 Scottish Parliamentary elections Margo
MacDonald was again returned as an independent MSP and was elected as
an independent for the third time 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 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 Welsh
Nathan Gill as the then leader of UKIP Wales defected from
the group to sit as an independent after a falling out with Neil
Hamiliton who was elected UKIP Assembly group leader. Lord Dafydd
Elis-Thomas left the
Plaid Cymru group later in 2016 after multiple
fallings out with
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood. Dafydd 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
Plaid Cymru on 16 January 2018 and is now sitting as an
Nathan Gill stood down on the 27 December 2017
and was replaced by Mandy Jones.
Mandy Jones left the UKIP group on
the 9 January 2018 over a fallout over her staff.
The introduction of directly elected mayors in several parts of
England has witnessed the election of independents to run councils in
Stoke-on-Trent, Middlesbrough, Bedford, Hartlepool and Mansfield. The
Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, was 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 Isles of Scilly Council, Orkney
Shetland 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 election were independents.
See also: Third party officeholders in the United States
George Washington was the only president elected as an independent, as
he was not formally affiliated with any party during his term in
John Tyler was expelled from the Whig Party in September 1841, and
remained effectively an independent for the remainder of his
presidency, later returning to the Democrats. He briefly sought
re-election in 1844 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 Republican Congressman John Anderson in 1980,
Ross Perot in 1992, and former Green Party candidate
Ralph Nader in
the 2004 and 2008 elections. Independent Senator
Bernie Sanders ran
for the Democratic nomination, but ultimately did not appear on the
ballot, in the 2016 election.
In 2008, Nader formed Independent Parties in New Mexico, Delaware, and
elsewhere to gain ballot access in several states. This strategy has
been pursued by several other candidates for Federal races, including
Joe Lieberman (Connecticut for Lieberman).
Illinois, Maine, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas,
Alaska and Minnesota
have elected formally independent candidates as governor: Illinois's
first two governors,
Shadrach Bond and Edward Coles; James B. Longley
in 1974 as well as
Angus King in 1994 and 1998 from Maine; Lincoln
Chafee in 2010 from Rhode Island;
Julius Meier in 1930 from Oregon;
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 A
Connecticut Party 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, who
actually ran as a member of the Reform Party's
which later disaffiliated from the party and reverted to their
original name the Independence Party of Minnesota.
In 1971, State Senator
Henry Howell of Virginia, a former Democrat,
was elected lieutenant governor as an independent. Two years later, he
campaigned for governor 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, state legislator
Barbara Merrill (formerly a Democrat) received 21% of the vote. In
Texas, country music singer and 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.
Charlie Crist left the Republican party and
became Independent (he later became a Democrat) rather than face
former state house Speaker
Marco Rubio in the Republican primary
(Rubio won, though Crist came in ahead of Democratic nominee Kendrick
In 2014, former
Mufi Hannemann ran as an independent
candidate for the governorship of the State of
Hawaii after previously
campaigning in the state's Democratic primary. As a result, Democratic
David Ige was elected as governor with a plurality of
Congress – House of Representatives and Senate
There have been several independents elected to the United States
Senate throughout history. Notable examples include David Davis of
Illinois (a former Republican) in the 19th century, and Harry F. Byrd,
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.
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
Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party to become
an independent in 2001. Jeffords's change of party status was
especially significant because it shifted the Senate composition from
50-50 between the Republicans and Democrats (with a Republican 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 Senate
Environment and Public Works Committee, and the Democrats held control
of the Senate until the 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
Dean Barkley of the Independence Party of
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.
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 Vermont-at-large from 1991
to 2007. Sanders later won the open Senate seat of
Jim Jeffords as an
Joe Lieberman is a former Democrat who, like Lowell P.
Weicker, Jr., ran under a third party (Connecticut for Lieberman
Party) in the 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. In 2012
Angus King was elected to
the US Senate as an Independent from Maine. As of 2016, he has
typically caucused with the Democrats.
United States House of Representatives has also seen a handful of
independent members. Examples include
Bernie Sanders of Vermont,
Virgil Goode of Virginia,
Frazier Reams of Ohio, and
Victor Berger of
State and local offices
In August 2008, there were 12 independents who held offices in state
legislatures. There were four state senators, one from Kentucky, one
from Oregon, one from Tennessee, and one from New Mexico. The
representatives came from the states of
Vermont (two), and
Virginia (two). In the 2008 general elections,
Wisconsin State Assemblyman Jeffrey Wood left the Republican Party and
won reelection as an independent. After the 2008 primary election, New
Mexico State Senator
Joseph Carraro left the Republican Party and
registered as an Independent. He did not run for reelection.
In November 2005, Manny Diaz was elected
Mayor of Miami,
Florida as an
independent. On June 19, 2007, New York
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
switched his party affiliation from Republican to independent. Oscar
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada switched his affiliation to
Independent from Democrat in December 2009.
Dan Hollingsworth has
won four consecutive elections as an Independent since 1998 for mayor
of the small city of Ruston, Louisiana, the home of
Nebraska Legislature is unique in that it is the only nonpartisan
state legislature. In the Legislature (which is additionally unique in
that it is also the only state legislature that is unicameral), there
are no formal party alignments or groups and the members are nominated
in nonpartisan primary elections. Members are allowed to register with
political parties but choose not to reveal their affiliation while
seated, as a professional courtesy. However, the political affiliation
of party-affiliated members are considered open secrets and the
parties exist in the legislature on an unofficial basis. Some members,
Ernie Chambers of Omaha, are independent of party officially,
while others have not publicly disclosed their affiliation.
Independence Party (disambiguation page)
Independent Party (disambiguation page)
Third party (United States)
Notes and references
Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic
Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo
unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia
continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two
governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the
Kosovo has received formal recognition as an
independent state from 113 out of 193
United Nations member states.
^ Al-Zumai, Fahad (June 2013). "Kuwait's political impasse and
rent-seeking behaviour: A call for institutional reform" (PDF). Kuwait
Programme on Development, Governance and Globalisation in the Gulf
States. London School of Economics. 29: 1–33. Retrieved 1 January
^ "Australian Independents". Australian Electoral Commission.
Retrieved 19 April 2015.
^ "Senate Results: South Australia". ABC News. Retrieved 19 April
^ "Senator John Madigan". Retrieved 19 April 2015.
^ "Senator Jacqui Lambie". APH. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
^ Senator Glenn Lazarus, APH access-date= requires url= (help)
^ "Constituição da República Federativa do Brasil de 1988" (in
Portuguese). Palácio do Planalto. 5 October 1988. Retrieved 31 March
^ "PEC permite candidatura avulsa a cargos eletivos" (in Portuguese).
Senado Notícias. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
^ José Reguffe. "Proposta de Emenda à Constituição nº6, de 2015"
(in Portuguese). Senado Federal. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
^ "Senador Reguffe" (in Portuguese). Senado Federal. Retrieved 31
^ "Site du sénat". www.senat.fr. Retrieved 2017-02-25.
^ Unabhängige Direktkandidaten, last seen October 13th, 2012.
Ludwig Erhard war nie CDU-Mitglied, April 25th, 2007, last
seen August 7th, 2012.
^ "The Constitution of the Republic of Poland". Sejm. Retrieved 31
^ "Introduction to standing as a candidate" (PDF). Electoral
Commission. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
^ "Electoral Administration Bill". United Kingdom parliament. United
Kingdom parliament. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
^ "History of East YorkshireLearn about East Yorkshire". Retrieved 19
^ Martin Bell's 1997 election was the first election of an Independent
in the UK since 1951: "
Martin Bell Profile". London: Guardian. 3 June
2008. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
^ "Launchdate of the Independent Network". [permanent dead link]
^ Gourlay, Chris (2009-03-08). "Tycoon finances 'X Factor' party to
clean up politics". London: The Sunday Times. Retrieved
^ "Independent MSP
Margo MacDonald dies". bbc.co.uk. 4 April 2014.
Retrieved 4 April 2014.
^ "Q&A: Police and crime commissioners". BBC News. 12 November
2013. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
Charlie Crist Comes Under Fire For Pulling Party Switch".
Huffington Post. 27 October 2010.
David Ige elected
Hawaii governor". 4 November 2014.
Archived from the original on 5 November 2014.
Vermont Independent Sen.
Bernie Sanders says he may run for
president as a Democrat". Yahoo! News. 2014-09-14. Retrieved
^ "Manny Diaz -
Mayor of Miami". City Mayors. 2008-01-28. Retrieved
^ "Goodman Switches Party Affiliation. KXNT, Ret. December 16th
2009". [permanent dead link]
"Clare Short resigns as Labour MP". BBC World News. October 20,
"New York Times Online". New York Times Company. November 8, 2006.
Independent Political Candida