7 new parties that tried and died

In recent days, there have been suggestions that a new anti-Brexit party could be formed, but British politics is notorious for killing off start-ups.

Here are seven parties that appeared then disappeared.

1. The SDP

The SDP was formed in 1981, when four Labour MPs, dubbed the “Gang of Four” quit their party to start a new movement: The Social Democratic Party. The four were unhappy with the leftward drift of the Labour Party and the anti-EEC nature of the Labour party, and went on to win a handful of by-elections, and gain new MPs from various defections.

In 1983, the SDP formed an alliance with the Liberals and almost beat Labour in terms of share of the vote at the election, despite winning relatively few seats.

The alliance soon became a formal merger, leading to today’s modern Liberal Democrats.

The party very nearly became Britain’s second party – in alliance with the Liberals – but failed to make that ultimate breakthrough.

2. Solidarity

The Solidarity party of Scotland was born out of the Scottish Socialist Party following the downfall of Tommy Sheridan. The party no-doubt hoped to disassociate itself from Sheridan’s scandal, but failed do well in the following elections.


The RISE party – Respect, Independence, Socialism, Environmentalism – was formed in late 2015. It has been referred to as the Scottish Syriza, as reported by the Herald, and gained some media coverage in the lead up to the 2016 Scottish elections.

The party won less than 11,000 votes, as reported by the BBC.

4. Respect

Respect was a party which saw some parliamentary success before being confined to the history books last year. Their biggest win was the 2012 Bradford West by-election, in which former Labour MP George Galloway took to seat for Respect with an incredible win, according to the BBC.


Yes, UKIP have had a significant impact on British politics, but their success was a flash in the pan, albeit one that caused some serious damage to the political establishment. Founded in 1993, UKIP only started making an impact after the 2010 election. Their rise in the polls prompted David Cameron to promise to hold a referendum on leaving the European Union, showing just how significant they were.

The party won a staggering 13% of the vote in 2015’s election, but Britain’s vote to leave the EU and the departure of Nigel Farage from the party’s top-spot saw them fall sharply in the polls and a the subsequent general election.

If Britain had voted to remain in the EU, would UKIP have surged in the polls as a protest much like the SNP did after 2014’s Scottish independence referendum?

6. BNP

The far-right British National Party made their first parliamentary debut in the 2009 European parliament elections, winning two seats under the proportional voting system. For a moment, it seemed that the party could build on that and make future electoral gains but at the 2014 European elections they did not win any seats.

7. Reform (USA)

The 1992 US election was a three-way race between Bill Clinton, incumbent George H. W. Bush and independent Ross Perot. Perot racked up an impressive 19% of the vote, but failed to win any electoral college votes. He went on to form the Reform Party and contested the 1996 election under that banner, but won just over 8% of the vote.

In these two elections, it felt like American politics could be remoulded, but the party performed poorly in 2000, and US politics has been a two-horse race ever since.