Independent politician

An independent or nonpartisan politician is an individual politician not affiliated with any political party. There are numerous reasons why someone may stand for office as an independent.

  • Independents may support policies which are different from those of the major political parties.
  • In some parts of the world, electors may have a tradition of electing independents, so standing for a political party is a disadvantage.
  • In some countries (such as Russia), a political party can only be registered if it has a large number of members in more than one region, but in certain regions only a minority of electors support the major parties.
  • In some countries (including Kuwait), political parties are unlawful and all candidates thus stand as independents.[1]
  • In some countries where politics are otherwise traditionally partisan, such as the United States, subnational bodies and offices such as the Nebraska State Legislature and various directly-elected judicial and executive positions are nonpartisan and require politicians to abstain from running for office as part of a political party, even if they may be a member of one.
  • In some countries where politics is otherwise traditionally partisan, such as Mongolia, the incumbent President must always be an independent and cannot run for reelection as a member of a political party.

Some independent politicians may be associated with a political party, perhaps as former members of it, or else have views that align with it, but choose not to stand in its name, or are unable to do so because the party in question has selected another candidate. Others may belong to or support a political party at the national level but believe they should not formally represent it (and thus be subject to its policies) at another level.

In running for public office, independents sometimes choose to form a party or alliance with other independents, and may formally register their party or alliance. Even where the word "independent" is used, such alliances have much in common with a political party, especially if there is an organization which needs to approve the "independent" candidates.


Independents are a recurrent feature of the federal Parliament of Australia, and they are more commonly elected to state parliaments. There have been up to five independents in every federal parliament since 1990, and independents have won twenty-eight times during national elections in that time. A large proportion of independents are former members of one of Australia's four main parties, the Australian Labor Party, the Liberal Party of Australia, the Australian Greens, or the National Party of Australia. In 2013 a political party named the Australian Independents was registered with the Australian Electoral Commission.[2]

As of 2018, three independents sit in the Australian House of Representatives: Andrew Wilkie from Denison in Tasmania (former Greens candidate), Cathy McGowan from Indi in Victoria and Kerryn Phelps from Wentworth.

Independent Senators are quite rare. In modern politics, independent Brian Harradine served from 1975 to 2005 with considerable influence at times. Nick Xenophon has been the only elected independent Senator since his election to the Senate at the 2007 federal election. Xenophon was re-elected for another six-year term at the 2013 federal election.[3] DLP Senator John Madigan became an independent Senator in September 2014,[4] while PUP Senators Jacqui Lambie and Glenn Lazarus became independent Senators in November 2014 and March 2015.[5][6]

Other Languages
العربية: مستقل (سياسة)
azərbaycanca: Partiyasız
Bân-lâm-gú: Bû-tóng-che̍k
Deutsch: Parteiloser
français: Sans étiquette
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Mò-tóng-sit
한국어: 무소속
Bahasa Indonesia: Independen (politikus)
मराठी: अपक्ष
Bahasa Melayu: Bebas (ahli politik)
монгол: Бие даагч
Nederlands: Onafhankelijken
日本語: 無所属
Simple English: Independent (politician)
slovenčina: Nezávislý politik
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Nezavisni (politika)
svenska: Partilös
粵語: 獨立人士
中文: 無黨籍