Social Democratic Party

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Social Democratic Party
Leader Saunders16
Scottish Party Scottish Social Democrats
Welsh Party Welsh Liberal Alliance
Northern Irish Party Irish Parliamentary Party
Ideology Social democracy
Political position Centre-left
European affiliation Party of European Socialists
International affiliation Progressive Alliance
Colours      Red

The Social Democratic Party, formerly known as the Independent Social Democrats, was a social-democratic independent grouping in the United Kingdom. The grouping, founded by Saunders16 after leaving the Classical Liberals, held at its height three seats in the House of Lords, one seat in the Scottish Parliament and one seat in the National Assembly for Wales as part of the Welsh Liberal Alliance, and five seats in the House of Commons.

The grouping was formed after Saunders16 expressed dissatisfaction with the staunch economic liberalism unionism of the Classical Liberals, but maintains close links with both liberal parties and partook in the Welsh Liberal Alliance. The grouping operated under the name of the Scottish Social Democrats in Scotland and takes a neutral stance on the union, unlike the Classical Liberals. Since forming, it received defections from parties across the political spectrum.

The Party dissolved after Saunders16 resigned as leader following the rise of bullying allegations. SamuelJBooker, his deputy leader, also resigned from the party to join the Classical Liberals, followed by HKNorman, who joined the Labour Party. The two remaining MPs, ThePootisPower, and JackWilfred, later took the decision to dissolve the Party.



After spending most of his political career in the Classical Liberals, Saunders16 announced his departure from the party after serving as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in the Wagbo_ ministry and Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government in the Leafy_Emerald IV ministry, originally citing intentions to pursue a career outside of the established political parties but later criticising the Classical Liberals for their vocal unionism in Scotland and expressing views on the centre-left of the political spectrum.

The Independent Social Democrats were announced and formed after achieved membership of the Welsh Liberal Alliance. Saunders16 stated that he wished to position the grouping between the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats, believing that the former did not have the moderate approach required to compete against the Conservative Party and the latter did not have a coherent economic ideology.

Shortly after foundation, Saunders16 received endorsements from both parties in the Oxfordshire and Berkshire by-election and came above the incumbent People's Movement MP, but below the government. He subequently won a seat in the June 2019 Scottish Election despite low opinion polling, and the grouping were rebranded as the Social Democratic Party.


The Social Democratic Party were considered to be left of centre. The grouping claimed to be committed to fiscal responsibility, arguing that the main left-wing opposition to the Conservative Party should be able to seen as trustworthy for the economy and businesses, but are to the left of New Britain and opposed to the idea of a coalition with the Conservative Party. They argue that the left should modernise and that the collapse of the Green Party and the Radical Socialist Party show that moderate politics are the way to achieve electoral success and government.

While the Social Democratic Party have stated that the welfare state should be extensive, they have differed with other opposition parties by describing their stance on negative income tax as wasteful. They have campaigned for greater funding for health and social care, education, transport and other government departments in addition to welfare. Their committment to fiscal responsibility has led them to argue that debt-to-GDP increases per year should be as minimal as possible.

In addition to their campaigning on the economy, they describe themselves as environmentalist and have advocated for the United Kingdom to do more, including a carbon tax based on Canada's levels. They are a socially liberal grouping and have opposed government policies such as the disenfranchisement of prisoners, raising of the voting age and anti-homeless spikes.

Saunders16 was a strong supporter of a confirmatory referendum on the final deal with the European Union before the country left, and has stated regret that the liberal government was not able to achieve one in his time away from politics. The Soical Democratic Party are seen as pro-European and internationalist, and he has campaigned for the government to follow Ukraine's model to minimise tariffs with the European Union, in addition to immigration and trade liberalisation. Their policies remain uncertain due to their age, but he is known to support a referendum on rejoining the single market.


At the point of foundation, the Welsh Liberal Alliance agreed to accept the Social Democratic Party as a wing of the party. Saunders16 was serving as Minister of Finance and AM for North Wales, having criticised the Labour Party's actions in collapsing the first Wagbo_ executive and praised the Welsh Liberal Alliance's moderate approach to politics. He has argued for minor tax increases, including on income tax, to fund spending increases. The Social Democratic Party were also a part of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, but left after merging with the Irish Parliamentary Party.

The Scottish Social Democrats are neutral on the union, like the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, and Saunders16 has been strongly critical of the Scottish Greens for not working with Westminster while in government and the Classical Liberals for what he perceived to be hardline unionism. The party argue that the Scottish executive should work with Westminster to respect the welfare devolution referendum, arguing for the devolution of negative income tax. Their decision to not rule out an independence referendum has caused controversy, with the party arguing that Holyrood should be prepared to act if the Westminster government do not respect the welfare referendum.

Electoral results

General elections

Year Leader Share of votes
Share of votes
Seats Change Position Resulting government
August 2019 Saunders16
0 / 100

Scottish Parliament elections

Year Leader Share of votes
Share of votes
Seats Change Position Resulting government
June 2019 Saunders16 9.44% 7.19%
1 / 19
Increase1 Increase6th

Leadership history

Leader Tenure
Saunders16 April 2019 - September 2019
Deputy Leader Tenure