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Independent Conservative is a description which has been used in the United Kingdom, Canada, and elsewhere, to denote a political conservative who lacks a formal affiliation to the party of that name.
As a description for use on the ballot paper, until 1999 anyone could stand at any British election as an Independent Conservative, but since the Registration of Political Parties Act 1998 came into force, a candidate who is not officially certified by the Conservative Party must either stand for another registered political party or as an Independent. However, the term is still used to designate a politician who either has left the Conservative Party or never joined it, so is independent of it, but who nevertheless identifies as a Conservative.
Lord Robert Cecil was an Independent Conservative in the House of Commons between 1911 and 1923, after he won the 1911 by-election for Hitchin, Hertfordshire. At the 1945 general election, John Mackie and Daniel Lipson were both elected to the Commons as Independent Conservatives.
Andrew Hunter was elected as a Conservative MP in 2001; he left the party when selected in 2002 as a candidate for the Democratic Unionist Party in the 2003 Northern Ireland Assembly election. Hunter sat as an Independent Conservative MP until joining the DUP Westminster parliamentary party in 2004.
Lord Stevens of Ludgate sat in the House of Lords as an Independent Conservative between 2004 and 2012.Derek Conway sat as an Independent Conservative after he lost the whip in 2008, and did not contest the 2010 general election.
Nadine Dorries was suspended from the Conservative Party after taking part in the television competition I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in November 2012,before regaining the Conservative whip in May 2013.
On 25 October 2016, Zac Goldsmith resigned from the House of Commons over the planned expansion of Heathrow Airport, triggering a by-election, which Goldsmith contested as an Independent, but without opposition from the Conservative Party. He was described as an Independent Conservative.
In April 2019, Nick Boles quit the Conservatives to sit as what he called an "Independent Progressive Conservative".
In September 2019, Amber Rudd quit the Conservatives over the disagreement that has been engaged in by their former 21 MP colleagues on the subject of Brexit, under Boris Johnson leadership.She decided not to seek re-election at the 2019 general election after initially planning to run as an Independent Conservative.
Independent Conservative members of parliament have also sat in the House of Commons of Canada, with a similar designation. In the 19th century, prior to the solidification of the party system, it was common in Canada for Independent Conservative and Independent Liberal members to be elected, sometimes defeating official Conservative or Liberal candidates.
Joseph Sasseville Roy was elected as an Independent Conservative at the 1940 federal election. He had declined to run as an official Conservative, due to his disagreement with the party's policy on conscription, which was unpopular in Quebec. Henri Courtemanche was elected as an "Independent Progressive Conservative" in Labelle in 1957 and subsequently rejoined the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. Maurice Allard was elected to the Commons as an "Independent Progressive Conservative" in Sherbrooke at the 1965 federal election, defeating the official Progressive Conservative candidate. A former Progressive Conservative politician, Allard had quit the party in 1963 due to his opposition to its leader, John George Diefenbaker.
Since then, it has been more usual for Independent Conservatives at the national level to be Conservatives who have voluntarily resigned the party whip or who have been expelled from the party. Bill Casey sat in the House of Commons as an "Independent Progressive Conservative" after he was expelled from the Conservative Party of Canada caucus for stating that the Conservative government's 2007 budget had violated the Atlantic Accord. Casey was re-elected at the federal election of 2008 with almost 70 per cent of the vote.
Patrick Brazeau is a current Independent Conservative Senator, but he has been expelled from sitting in the Senate due his arrest for assault. Pamela Wallin is a current Independent Conservative Senator, who was removed from caucus due to spending scandal. In 2013, Brent Rathgeber became an Independent Conservative MP for St. Albert - Edmonton after leaving the Conservative Party caucus, citing that the Prime Minister's Office had authoritarian-type power of the government. He was the member of Parliament up until the 2015 federal election, which he lost to Conservative candidate Michael Cooper.
The 1921 Canadian federal election was held on December 6, 1921, to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 14th Parliament of Canada. The Union government that had governed Canada through the First World War was defeated, and replaced by a Liberal government under the young leader William Lyon Mackenzie King. A new third party, the Progressive Party, won the second most seats in the election.
In politics, politicians are said to cross the floor if they change their party allegiance. Crossing the floor may mean changing to a second party after being elected as a member of a first party, or voting against the approved party lines. In Nigeria, the term crossing the carpet or carpet crossing is used.
André Bachand is a Canadian politician, who represented the riding of Richmond—Arthabaska as member of the Progressive Conservatives from 1997 to 2003.
William D. Casey is a Canadian politician from Nova Scotia who served as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons of Canada. First elected as a Progressive Conservative in 1988, he later sat as Conservative MP following the party merger in 2003. In 2007, Casey was expelled from the party for voting against the 2007 budget, but he was reelected as an Independent in the 2008 election and sat as such until he resigned his seat in 2009 to work on behalf of the Nova Scotian government for provincial interests in Ottawa. Casey decided to return to federal politics in the 2015 federal election and running as a Liberal easily took the seat with 63.73% of the popular vote.
Roch La Salle, was a Canadian politician who served in the province of Quebec. He represented the riding of Joliette in the House of Commons of Canada for 20 years. A popular figure, he was re-elected six times during his tenure.
Nicholas Edward Coleridge Boles is a British politician who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Grantham and Stamford from 2010 to 2019. He was a member of the Conservative Party until 2019.
André Harvey, PC is a Canadian consultant, politician and former teacher in Quebec, Canada.
Nadine Vanessa Dorries is a British politician serving as Minister for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety since 2019. A member of the Conservative Party, she has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Mid Bedfordshire since 2005. She is considered to be on the political right of the Conservative Party. In February 2020 Dorries became the first MP to be diagnosed with COVID-19.
Louis Plamondon is a Canadian politician who has represented Bécancour—Nicolet—Saurel in the House of Commons since 1984, making him the Dean of the House, the longest-serving current member of the House of Commons.
Gordon Edward Taylor was a Canadian politician, businessman and teacher from Drumheller, Alberta. He served as an elected official for 48 years at both the provincial and federal levels, and never lost an election.
The 40th Canadian Parliament was in session from November 18, 2008 to March 26, 2011. It was the last Parliament of the longest-running minority government in Canadian history that began with the previous Parliament. The membership of its House of Commons was determined by the results of the 2008 federal election held on October 14, 2008. Its first session was then prorogued by the Governor General on December 4, 2008, at the request of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was facing a likely no-confidence motion and a coalition agreement between the Liberal party and the New Democratic Party with the support of the Bloc Québécois. Of the 308 MPs elected at the October 14, 2008 general election, 64 were new to Parliament and three sat in Parliaments previous to the 39th: John Duncan, Jack Harris and Roger Pomerleau.
On 3 September 2019, the British Conservative Party withdrew the whip from 21 of its MPs who had supported an emergency motion to allow the House of Commons to undertake proceedings on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill on 4 September. In the hours after the vote, the Chief Whip Mark Spencer informed the rebel MPs that they were no longer entitled to sit as Conservatives. This led to the loss of the Conservative/DUP majority in the Commons.
The One Nation Conservatives is a parliamentary caucus of Conservative Party Members of Parliament who identify as one-nation conservatives.
Derek Sloan is a Canadian politician who was elected to represent the riding of Hastings—Lennox and Addington in the House of Commons of Canada in the 2019 Canadian federal election. Sloan ran as a candidate for the Conservative Party leadership in 2020 and was eliminated after the first ballot. In 2020, he made national news coverage for his controversial views on LGBTQ issues and making allegedly racist remarks.