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Independent politician


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

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 time five independents in every federal parliament since 1990, and independents have won twenty-eight times during national elections in that time. A large number 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.

Currently, two independents sit in the Australian House of Representatives, Andrew Wilkie from Denison in Tasmania (former Greens candidate) and Cathy McGowan from Indi in Victoria.


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