United Democratic Party (UK)

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The United Democratic Party (UDP) was a minor political party in the United Kingdom. It was formed in 1974 by a group of Independent Conservatives disaffected with Edward Heath's leadership of the Conservative Party

During the February 1974 general election a number of unofficial and independent Tories had stood against the official party candidates.[1] A number of these joined together after the election when it became clear that a second vote would be needed, forming the UDP as a right-wing alternative.[1] The new party did not have an overall policy although it was generally to right of the Conservative Party and for some candidates, although not invariably, stressed opposition to the European Economic Community.[2]

Boosted by some new members joining from the fading Independent Democratic Alliance, the UDP contested 13 seats in the October general election.[2] Led by James Tippett, the party's candidates were all based in the south of England and all failed to gain election.[2] The party's best result was in Cambridge where they won 885 votes (1.7% share),[1] a result influenced the candidate C.J. Curry being a well-known local business figure.[2]

The party disbanded soon after the general election with a single member continuing as a regular by-election candidate, albeit under the Independent banner.[2] A "United Democratic Party" candidate in the Bermondsey by-election, 1983 had no connection to the earlier group.


  1. ^ a b c David Boothroyd, The History of British Political Parties, Politico's Publishing, 2001, p. 325
  2. ^ a b c d e Boothroyd, p. 326