List of political parties in the United Kingdom


List of political parties in the United Kingdom

This is a list of political parties in the United Kingdom.

Brief history and overview

Prior to the mid-19th century politics in the United Kingdom were dominated by the Whigs and the Tories. These were not political parties in the modern sense but somewhat loose alliances of interests and individuals. The Whigs were associated with the newly emerging moneyed industrial classes, and the Tories were associated with the landed gentry, the Church of England and the Church of Scotland.

By the mid 19th century the Tories had evolved into the Conservative Party, and the Whigs had evolved into the Liberal Party.

These two parties dominated the political scene until the 1920s, when the Liberal Party declined in popularity and suffered a long stream of resignations. It was replaced as the main left-wing party by the newly emerging Labour Party, who represented an alliance between the trades unions and various socialist societies.

Since then the Conservative and Labour Parties have dominated British politics, and have alternated in government ever since. The UK is nearly but not quite a two-party system however. The Liberals merged with the Social Democrats because they had very similar views and became the Liberal Democrats which are now a sizeable third party whose electoral results have improved in recent years.

The UK's First Past the Post electoral system leaves small parties disadvantaged on a UK-wide scale. It can, however, allow parties with concentrations of supporters in the constituent countries to flourish. Other than the Respect coalition and Health Concern, the only other parties winning seats in the House of Commons at the 2005 General Election were based in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In recent years, proportional representation-based voting systems have been adopted for elections to the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the London Assembly and the UK's seats in the European Parliament. In these bodies, other parties have had success.

Traditionally political parties have been private organisations with no official recognition by the state. The Registration of Political Parties Act 1998 changed that by creating a register of parties.

Register of Political Parties

The Electoral Commission's Register of Political Parties [ [http://registers.electoralcommission.org.uk/regulatory-issues/regpoliticalparties.cfm Party Finance - The Electoral Commission : Regulatory issues : Political parties : Registers : Register of political parties ] ] lists the details of parties registered to fight elections, and their registered name, in the United Kingdom. Under current electoral law, including the Registration of Political Parties Act, the Electoral Administration Act 2006, and the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, only registered party names can be used on ballot papers by those wishing to fight elections. Candidates who do not belong to a registered party can use "independent" or no label at all.

As of 13 September 2008 it shows the number of registered political parties as below.

*169 parties have their name registered for use only in England
*9 parties have their name registered for use in England and Wales.
*140 parties have their name registered for use in England, Scotland and Wales.
*22 parties have their name registered for use only in Scotland.
*10 parties have their name registered for use only in Wales.
*In Northern Ireland, 56 parties are on the register, including the Conservative Party which fights elections in the province.
*4 parties are registered as "Minor Parties", who stand for parish council elections under slightly modified electoral legislation.

Major political parties in the House of Commons

Three parties dominate politics in the House of Commons. They all operate throughout Great Britain (only the Conservative Party stands candidates in Northern Ireland). Most of the British Members of the European Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, and the National Assembly for Wales represent one of these parties:

*Labour Party, centrist to left-wing (traditionally centre-left) (355 seats in the House of Commons)
**Co-operative Party (all 29 Co-operative Party MPs are also Labour MPs as part of a long-standing electoral agreement)
*Conservative Party, centrist to right (traditionally centre-right) (197 seats)
*Liberal Democrats, centrist to centre-left. (63 seats)

Political parties anchors|electedpartieswith elected representation at a national or international level

See also: Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Members of the European Parliament for the United Kingdom 2004-2009.

Minor political parties in the United Kingdom

Minor English political parties

Minor Scottish political parties

*Adam Lyal's Witchery Tour Party Essentially an "advert" party for a theme tourist guide business.
*Communist Party of Scotland
*East Dunbartonshire Independent Alliance Created from local Labour Party in-fighting.
*East Kilbride Alliance
* [http://www.freescotlandparty.org/ Free Scotland Party] in favour of Scottish independence outside the European Union
*Independent Green Voice - a flag of convenience for Alistair McConnachie, ex-UKIP member with far-right connections.
*Left Alliance, a party with council seats in Fife, Scotland
*Publican Party
*Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers
*Scottish Christian Party - the successor to Operation Christian Vote
*Scottish Enterprise Party, a centre-right party in favour of Scottish independence
*Scottish Independence Party, in favour of Scottish independence
*Scottish Jacobite Party
*Scottish Pensioners Party
*Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party
*Scottish Socialist Party
*Scottish Unionist Party, a party campaigning to prevent the dissolution of the United Kingdom. Has strong links with the Orange Order.
*Scottish Voice
*Solidarity

Minor Welsh political parties

*People's Voice - party set-up in Blaenau Gwent
*Cymru Annibynnol, in favour of Welsh independence
*Cymru Rydd - Welsh republican party
*Llais Gwynedd - Gwynedd Regionalist party
*Forward Wales
*Welsh Christian Party - again the successor to Operation Christian Vote
*Socialist Party Wales
*Wales Green Party
*Communist Party of Wales - also known as the Welsh Communist Party

Minor Northern Ireland political parties

*Labour Party of Northern Ireland
*Socialist Environmental Alliance, a far left party in Northern Ireland
*Socialist Party (Ireland)
*The Workers Party (Ireland), evolved from Official Sinn Féin
*Fianna Fáil (registered in NI since 2007-12-07 [ [http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/article3234058.ece Fianna Fail accepted as Northern Ireland party - Politics - News - Belfast Telegraph ] ] )

Minor far left political parties in the United Kingdom

*Alliance for Green Socialism
*Alliance for Workers Liberty stand as Socialist Unity in elections
*Communist Party of Britain
*Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)
*Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist)
*Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee)
*Democratic Labour Party, party based in Walsall, split off from local Labour Party in 1996
*Democratic Socialist Alliance
*Independent Working Class Association, has councillors on Oxford City Council
*International Socialist Group
*Left List - split from Respect - Unity Coalition
*New Communist Party of Britain
*Peace and Progress Party
*People's Party, was the People's Labour Party that split off from the local Labour Party in the Furness region.
*Red Party
*Revolutionary Communist Group
* [http://www.socialjusticeparty.co.uk/ Social Justice Party]
*Socialist Appeal
*Socialist Equality Party
*Socialist Labour Party
*Socialist Party (England and Wales) stands as Socialist Alternative in elections
*Socialist Party of Great Britain
*Socialist Workers Party the party currently forms part of Left Alternative.
*Spartacist League
*Workers Power
*Workers' Revolutionary Party

Minor far right political parties in the United Kingdom

*British National Party
*British National Socialist Movement
*British Peoples Party
*British First Party
*England First Party
* [http://www.englishindependenceparty.com/ English Independence Party ]
*Free England Party
*Freedom Party
* [http://www.imperialparty.co.uk/ Imperial Party]
*National Democrats
*National Front
*Nationalist Alliance
*New Britain Party
*New Nationalist Party
*Populist Party

Joke political parties in the United Kingdom

*Fancy Dress Party
*Official Monster Raving Loony Party, the most well-known joke party, who have run Ashburton town council (in Devon) in the past
* Rock 'n' Roll Loony Party

Minor religion-based political parties in the United Kingdom

*Christian Peoples Alliance
*The Common Good
*Islamic Party of Britain
*Operation Christian Vote - The Reverend George Hargreaves and David Braid. Now the Christian Party (aka Scottish Christian Party and Welsh Christian Party)
* [http://www.vivamus.org.uk/ Vivamus-Let Us Live]

Other minor political parties in the United Kingdom

* [http://www.hawklan.demon.co.uk/alternativeparty/ Alternative Party]
* [http://www.animalscount.org/ Animals Count ]
* [http://www.british-public-party.org.uk/ British Public Party]
*British Right Alliance
*The Consensus
*Countryside Party
*Democratic Party
*Equal Parenting Alliance
* [http://www.firefightersagainstcuts.co.uk Firefighters Against Cuts]
* [http://www.generalistparty.co.uk/ Generalist Party ]
*Humanist Party
*Liberal Party, Former members of the historic Liberal Party who refounded themselves as the Liberals when they felt that the old party had been lost in the merger with the Social Democratic Party. Has around 30 district, borough, city and county councillors.
* United Kingdom Libertarian Party
*The New Party (UK) - previously stood under the name of the Peoples Alliance.
* [http://www.nocandidate.org.uk/ No Candidate Deserves My Vote Party]
*Prolife Alliance
*Senior Citizens Party
*Spectre
*The Blah! Party - run by Captain Sensible
* [http://www.ukpopdems.org.uk/ United Kingdom Popular Democrats]
*Veritas Party
*Your Party

Defunct and historic parties in the United Kingdom

English political parties

*Vectis National Party (1970s) - Isle of Wight regionalist party.
*Build Duddon and Morecambe Bridges - voluntarily de-registered on 2 September 2005.cite web|url=http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/document-summary?assetid=63167|title=List of Political Parties either renamed or deregistered since 2002|date=18 August 2008|publisher=Electoral Commission|accessdate=2008-09-13]

Scottish political parties

*Fife Socialist League (1950s–1960s)
*Fishing Party (Scotland)
*Highland Land League (1909–1920s)
*Highlands and Islands Alliance
*Labour Party of Scotland
*National Party of Scotland (1928–1934)
*Orkney and Shetland Movement
*Scottish Labour Party (1888-1893)
*Scottish Labour Party (1976-1981)
*Scottish Militant Labour
*Scottish Party (1932–1934)
*Scottish Prohibition Party
*Scottish Republican Socialist Party (1982–1998)
*Scottish Socialist Alliance
*Scottish Socialist Federation
*Scottish Socialist Party (1987-1990) (1987–1990)
*Scottish Workers' Representation Committee
*Scottish Workers Republican Party
*Scottish Unionist Party (1912–1965)
*Workers Party of Scotland

Welsh political parties

* Balchder Cymru
* Cymru Goch
* Welsh Republican Movement
* John Marek Independent Party - (2003), evolved into Forward Wales
* South Wales Socialist Society
* Communist Party of South Wales and the West of England

Northern Irish political parties

*All-for-Ireland Party (1910–1918)
*British Ulster Dominion Party
*Irish Independence Party
*Irish Parliamentary Party
*Nationalist Party
*Northern Ireland Labour Party
*Northern Ireland Women's Coalition
*People's Democracy
*Protestant Unionist Party
*Republican Labour Party
*Ulster Democratic Party
*Ulster Independence Movement
*Ulster Popular Unionist Party (1980–95)
*United Kingdom Unionist Party (1995–2008) [cite web|url=http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/electoral_commission_pdf_file/0006/20220/ukup_25534-18973__E__N__S__W__.PDF|title=United Kingdom Unionist Party - Statement of Accounts for 2006|date=22 May 2007|publisher=Electoral Commission|accessdate=2008-09-13|format=PDF]
*United Ulster Unionist Party (1977–84)
*Unionist Party of Northern Ireland
*Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party (1973–78)

Defunct far left and communist political parties in the United Kingdom

*British Socialist Party (1911–20)
*Common Wealth Party (1941–45)
*Communist Party of Great Britain (1920–91)
*Independent Labour Party (1893–1975)
*International Marxist Group (1968–81)
*Labour Party of Scotland (1973)
*Revolutionary Communist Party (1944–50)
*Revolutionary Socialist League (1938–44)
*Socialist Alliance (1994–2005)
*Social Democratic Federation (1884–1911)
*Socialist Labour Party (1903–80)
*Socialist League (1886–1903)
*Workers International League (1937–44)
*Workers Socialist Federation (1914–21)

Defunct British far right and fascist political parties

*British Democratic Party (1970s–80s)
*British Fascisti (1920s–30s)
*British Movement (1968–83)
*British National Party (1960–67)
*British People's Party (1940s)
*British Union of Fascists (1930s)
*Constitutional Movement (1979–84)
*Flag Group (1980s)
*Greater Britain Movement (1964–67)
*National Democratic Party (1960s–70s)
*Imperial Fascist League (1929–39)
*National Fascisti (1920s)
*National Independence Party (1970s)
*National Labour Party (1957–60)
*National Party (1970s)
*National Socialist League (1937–39)
*National Socialist Movement (1962–67)
*Official National Front (1980s)
*Union Movement (1948–73)
*United Country Party (1970s)
*White Defence League (1958–60)
*White Nationalist Party (to 2005)

Miscellaneous British political parties

*Campaign for Social Democracy (1973–1974)
*Democratic Labour (1972–1979)
*Green Party (UK)
*Legalise Cannabis Alliance
*Liberal Party (1839–1988)
*Liberal Unionist Party (1886–1912)
*Liverpool Protestant Party
*National Liberal Party
*National Socialist Party (1916–1919)
*Natural Law Party (1992–2004)
*New Party (1931–1932)
*Referendum Party (1997 election)
*Social Credit Party of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (1931–1951, 1965–1978)
*Social Democratic Party (1981–1990)
*Socialist National Defence League
*Women's Party (1917–1919)

ee also

* Index of political parties to browse parties by name
* List of political parties to browse parties by country
* List of political parties by ideology to browse parties by name
* Membership of internationals to browse parties by membership of internationals
*British politics
*Liberalism in the United Kingdom
*List of political parties in Northern Ireland
*List of political parties in Scotland
*List of political parties in Wales
*List of political parties in the Isle of Man (a British Crown dependency)
*List of political parties in Gibraltar (a British overseas territory)
* short names and party colours for use in Wikipedia lists and election results

Notes and references

External links

* [http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/includes/incPartySearch.cfm?Pcode=FX35BQ List of all parties standing at the 2005 election]
* [http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/e01/parties2001.htm List of parties that stood candidates in the 2001 general elections]
* [http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/database-of-registers Electoral Commission: Database of Registers, includes Register of Political Parties]


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