It’s not as odd as it sounds. To gain the same legal benefits as the main political parties, the Independent Network has registered with the Electoral Commission as a political party. Many local independent groups around the country do the same for the same reasons. However Clause 3.1 of the Independent Network’s constitution adopted by the executive committee makes clear that the Independent Network’s new registered political party is limited in its remit.
It was a surprise for many. Of the 54 candidates that stood as independents in 2012, 11 were elected – a one in five success rate. One of the most interesting aspects of the election was that the main political parties did not run huge campaigns for the PCC elections. Initially Labour were not going to field candidates, in favour of independent candidates, fearing doing so would politicise the police force. The party changed its mind and did fund candidates standing under a Labour banner. The Conservative Central Office did not fund candidates, although some local Conservative Associations did. The Liberal Democrats did not fund any candidates. Some candidates were only unofficially backed by a political party.
Members of local independent groups will be given affiliate membership of the Independent Network for the local elections on 5th May 2016 for a single fee of £50 to cover all their members and candidates. As well as the membership fee, they will be required to send a declaration from their executive stating that they and their members agree to comply with The Bell Principles. They will also be empowered to give the Independent Network’s endorsement to local candidates that also agree to abide by The Bell Principles. This will enable candidates to use the Independent Network branding and resources in their campaigns, and place “Independent Network” on their ballot paper.
Please do contact us if you are interested in becoming an IN co-ordinator for your area!
Below is what IN would like an Area Co-ordinator to do.
On the Access Database, IN has allocated Postcodes to ‘political’ areas (essentially constituencies or counties), but these can be amended at any time. They can be small or large. We would like to appoint an Area Co-ordinator for each Political Area.
In the last few years the Independent Network has encouraged and supported Independents standing for local and national office, and has provided a support platform for Independent Politicians.
Now it is time to think about how the Independent Network can be of even greater use and benefit.
Attached is our Conference leaflet, please click to view it!
The first Hertford Party Party Meeting will be held at 8pm on Wednesday 24th April, 2013, at Elberts, the basement night club in the Hertford House Hotel, Parliament Square, SG14 1DA.
For further details, see: http://hertfordindependents.org/meetings
Originally written for the 2011 Local Elections, IN is now working on a revised edition to be published later this year. If you have any contributions to include, please contact us. We are looking for initiatives that worked well, for communication strategies that you found were very effective, and also for the failures that have lessons for others.
IN has analysed the results of the elections, and these are set out in the document below:
Nine out of Ten candidates who were endorsed by the Independent Network won seats in the recent local government elections.
Of the 449 endorsed candidates running, 391 were successful in the local governmental elections on Thursday 5 May.
There was notable success in the county of Herefordshire, where 23 out of 58 seats were won by independent representatives- significantly more than the Liberal Democrats’ 3 and Labour’s 1.
There were also promising results in Cheshire East. The Cheshire Independent Network won more seats than the Liberal Democrats. Co-ordinator of the Cheshire Independent Network Mike Parsons said: