The majority of voters in the South East (51%) say they will seriously consider voting for an independent candidate on 6 May and almost two-thirds (64%) say British democracy would be strengthened if there were more MPs not aligned to a political party.
The ComRes survey results confirm that trust in political parties is at an all time low.
Westminster currently has two independent MPs, but the upcoming election will be contested by a record 315 independent candidates.
Former independent MP Martin Bell has thrown his support behind 15 independent candidates in the South East who will receive support from the Independent Network in an attempt to level the playing field with political party candidates.
“Independents have an unprecedented opportunity on May 6 to change the face of politics for good,” said Bell. “It is a time for the election of a group of MPs, without party baggage but with real world experience, to be a force for honest politics in the new House of Commons.”
The Independent Network
Bell has given his backing to the Independent Network, a non-profit organisation that provides support to candidates who are not members of political parties.
The Independent Network has laid down the Bell Principles for independent candidates, which are thought to be the first set of conduct guidelines created by a political organisation for its affiliated candidates and representatives.
Bell Principles are designed to bring honesty and integrity back into politics by influencing the conduct, but not the policies of independent candidates.
“The swing voter is tired of monkeying around,” says Brian Ahearne, Director of the Independent Network. “A vote for the status quo is a wasted vote. The only alternative to political parties is to vote for an independent candidate who can properly represent the opinions of South East constituents, guided by considered evidence, their real world experience and expertise, their constituencies and their consciences, not a political party, pressure group or whip. The electorate must not be confused into believing that their vote is for a leader or political party, when in fact on May 6th they will be voting for a local constituency MP.”
Independent Network candidates in the South East
The Independent Network has endorsed 15 independent candidates in the South East. Their names, constituencies that they are running in and web addresses are as follows:
Alessandra Williams, Hackney North and Stoke Newington www.alessandrawilliams.com
Alice Sakura Dartnell, Gravesham www.aliceformp.co.uk
Denny de la Haye, Hackney South and Shoreditch http://getavote.org
Gordon Kennedy, Dagenham and Rainham http://justvotethemout.com
Graeme Quar, Meon Valley www.meonvalleyindependent.org.uk
Hugh Salmon, Battersea www.hughsalmon4battersea.co.uk/
Jim Thornton, Poplar and Limehouse www.jimthornton.org.uk
Joe Hall, Luton South www.joehallforluton.com
John Stevens, Buckingham www.bucksfirst.co.uk
Keith Gell, Eastbourne www.keithgell.com
Loucas Xenophontos, Hertford and Stortford www.loucasx.com
Mark Ashwell, Wokingham www.markashwell.com
Neville Watson, Tottenham www.ttwcmih.org.uk
Stephane Tindame, Dartford www.stephanetindame.org.uk
Suzanne Moore, Hackney North and Stoke Newington www.moore4hackney.org.uk
Notes to Editors:
For more information please visit: www.independentnetwork.org.uk Alternatively you can contact the press office at 020 7609 1900
The Independent Network is a loose non-profit association that provides support to Prospective Parliamentary Candidates who do not belong to a political party. The Independent Network was set up to provide support for independent candidates, as no other organisation existed to support them.
Independent candidates do not have access to a large national party structure with its human and financial resources. The Independent Network was formed to attend to this inequality and continues to encourage the electorate to acknowledge the success and influence that independents are having in local Government and can have in Parliament.
The Independent Network does not impose any political views on the individuals and parties it supports or that support the Independent Network. However, affiliates of the Independent Network must be non-racist and non-discriminatory and adhere to The Bell Principles.
The Bell Principles require that all endorsed independent candidates: