National Democrats (United Kingdom)

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This article is about the political party which split away from the British National Front. For the Northern Irish political party, see National Democrats (Northern Ireland).
National Democrats (UK)
Founded 1995
Dissolved 2011
Ideology British nationalism, right-wing populism, third positionism, Euroscepticism, national conservatism
Political position Far-right
Politics of the United Kingdom
Political parties
Elections
National Democrats logo

The National Democrats (ND) was a nationalist party in the United Kingdom (UK). Former party Chairman Ian Anderson died on 2 February 2011[1] and the party was de-registered with the Electoral Commission on 10 March 2011.

Formation[edit]

The party evolved out of the Flag Group wing of the British National Front (NF), which gained control of the NF during the early 1990s. Party leader Ian Anderson sought to change the name of the NF to the National Democrats. 72% of the membership voted for the change in a postal ballot; by changing the name it was hoped to avoid the connotations associated with the NF name.[2] However, the move was resisted by other NF members and so the National Democrats came into existence as a new party.

History[edit]

The party contested two parliamentary by-elections in 1996. In Hemsworth, Mike Cooper received 111 votes (0.5%) and, in South East Staffordshire, Sharron Edwards received 358 votes (0.8%).[3] Although the NDs never took part in regularly scheduled European elections, it did contest the Merseyside West by-election in which Simon Darby stood but only gained 718 votes (1.2%).[4]

In the 1997 general election, the party contested 21 seats and received a total of 10,829 votes, compared to 35,832 for its rivals in the British National Party (BNP), and 2,719 votes for the NF. The party's best result was in West Bromwich West, where Steven Edwards received 11.4% of the vote. However, this was not a normal constituency, since this was the constituency of then House Speaker Betty Boothroyd, which major parties by convention do not contest. The party was severely damaged immediately before the 1997 election when it was revealed by The Sunday Times and the Daily Mail that leading member Andy Carmichael was working for MI5.[5] Where the West Midlands had been a stronghold, it now began to fall apart, and in 1998, the local branch, which included leading ND activist Simon Darby, defected to the BNP, leaving only a small number of party loyalists behind. The party did not nominate candidates in the 2001 general election.

The party published a magazine called Vanguard,[6] edited by Stephen Ebbs, and publication of the former NF paper The Flag continued, now in support of the new party.[7]

Change in activities[edit]

Campaign for National Democracy
Cndlogo.jpg
Formation ?
President
Ian Anderson
Website [1]

By the beginning of 2002, the party had ceased political activity. It continued as a pressure group under the name Campaign for National Democracy;[8] until 2008.[9] The party officially ceased to exist after the death of its leader at the beginning of 2011.

Publication of The Flag magazine continued [10] but without reference to the National Democrats or the Campaign for National Democracy.

Leading members[edit]

  • Simon Darby, parliamentary candidate, left the party in 1998 for the BNP and became its press officer and deputy leader.[11]
  • Martin Wingfield,co-editor of The Flag, left the party in 2001 and joined the BNP and became editor of its Voice of Freedom paper.[12]
  • Sharron Edwards, parliamentary candidate, left the party in 1999, stood as first candidate on the West Midlands list for the BNP in the 1999 European elections and later became deputy chairwoman of the BNP[13] before helping to form the Freedom Party.
  • Gary Cartwright, regional organiser[14] and local council candidate,[15] later joined UKIP and is currently parliamentary advisor to Nikki Sinclaire.[16]

Election results[edit]

1996-1997 by-elections[edit]

Date of election Constituency Candidate Votes  %
1 February 1996 Hemsworth M Cooper 111 0.5[3]
11 April 1996 South East Staffordshire Mrs S Edwards 358 0.8[3]
12 December 1996 Merseyside West (European Parliament) Simon Darby 718 1.2[4]

1997 general election[edit]

Constituency Candidate Votes  %
Birmingham, Ladywood Andrew Carmichael 685 1.8
Blackburn Tina Wingfield 671 1.4
Burton Keith Sharp 604 1.1
Dagenham Michael Hipperson 183 0.5
Derby, South Robert Evans 317 0.6
Devon, East Gary Needs 131 0.2
Dudley, North Simon Darby 469 1
East Ham Graham Hardy 290 0.7
Halesowen and Rowley Regis Karen Needs 592 1.2
Leicester, South Kevin Sills 307 0.6
Leicester, West Clive Potter 186 0.5
Londonderry, East Ian Anderson 81 0.2
Nottingham, South Sharron Edwards 446 0.9
Plymouth, Devonport Stephen Ebbs 238 0.5
Southport Michael Middleton 92 0.2
Southwark, North and Bermondsey Ingga Yngvisson 95 0.2
Stoke-on-Trent, South Brian Lawrence 288 0.6
Tiverton and Honiton Del Charles 236 0.4
West Bromwich, West Steven Edwards 4,181 11.4*
Wolverhampton, North East Martin Wingfield 356 0.9
Yorkshire, East Michael Cooper 381 0.8

* West Bromwich West was the Speaker's seat and not contested by other major parties.
The candidates were Betty Boothroyd (Speaker) 54.8%; Richard Silvester (Ind) 23.3; Steven Edwards (ND) 11.4%

Source:[17]

1997 by-elections[edit]

Date of election Constituency Candidate Votes  %
31 July 1997 Uxbridge Ian Anderson 157 0.5
23 September 1999 Wigan S Ebbs 100 0.6

Source:[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Searchlight magazine, issue 429, March 2011
  2. ^ John Rentoul, "New name just a Front for 'National Democrats'", The Independent, 17 July 1995
  3. ^ a b c Results of byelections in the 1992-97 Parliament, election.demon.co.uk
  4. ^ a b European Parliament elections, election.demon.co.uk
  5. ^ "Former MI5 spy - I was a rent boy", Cannock Chase Post, 22 February 2006. (Archive retrieved 15 June 2015)
  6. ^ Vanguard magazine online
  7. ^ The Flag
  8. ^ National Democrats website, 24 March 2002
  9. ^ last known National Democrats website, May 2008
  10. ^ The Flag
  11. ^ Hope not hate: "A-Z of the BNP", A-Z of the BNP (Archive retrieved 15 June 2015)
  12. ^ Biography on BNP website (Archive retrieved 15 June 2015)
  13. ^ "Family face BNP wing extremism", Sunday Mercury, 7 May 2007
  14. ^ "London Bounces Back To Life", The Flag, issue 106, May 1999
  15. ^ "National Democrats trounce Tories in Southwark", The Flag, issue 105, 1999
  16. ^ Website of Nikki Sinclaire (Archive retrieved 15 June 2015)
  17. ^ Politics resources: UK Members of Parliament, 1997-2001 (index to complete general election results) and Excel spreadsheet of results
  18. ^ Results of byelections to the 52nd United Kingdom Parliament, election.demon.co.uk