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Not to be confused with similarly named National Socialist Parties.

National Socialist Party
SecretaryTom Kennedy
Founded1916
Dissolved1941
Preceded byBritish Socialist Party
Merged intoLabour Party
NewspaperJustice
IdeologySocial democracy
Political positionCentre-left

The National Socialist Party was a small political party in the United Kingdom, founded in 1916. It originated as a minority group within the British Socialist Party who supported British participation in World War I; while historically linked with the Marxist left, the party grew more moderate. It affiliated to the Labour Party and was eventually absorbed by it.

Contents

OriginsEdit

The National Socialist Party was founded by H.M. Hyndman and his followers after his defeat in the leadership elections of the British Socialist Party. They believed that it was desirable to support the United Kingdom in World War I against "Prussian militarism". Although maintaining that they were a Marxist party, after affiliation to the Labour Party in 1918, they renounced vanguardism and saw in the Russian Revolution only the danger that it might weaken the United Kingdom's war effort. The party was grouped around the newspaper Justice.

Three members of the party were elected to Parliament in the 1918 election; Dan Irving and Will Thorne were elected for the Labour Party, and Jack Jones under the National Socialist Party name.[1]

Social Democratic FederationEdit

In 1919, the group changed its name to the Social Democratic Federation, reverting to the name that the British Socialist Party had used. At one point eleven MPs were members, but after Hyndman died in 1921, the group gradually dissolved into the Labour Party.[2] The party sponsored several candidates at each election until 1924, all of whom ran for Labour. After 1924, its MPs were instead sponsored by their local Labour Party.[3] The party finally disbanded in 1939 due to a lack of funds, although some remaining members formed a "Social Democratic Fellowship".[4]

Other prominent members included Henry W. Lee, Hunter Watts, John Stokes and Joseph Burgess.[1]

Election resultsEdit

Election Seats won ± Total votes % Position Leader
1918
1 / 670
  11,013 (#12) 0.1% Henry Hyndman

1918 UK general electionEdit

Constituency Candidate Votes Percentage Position[5]
Burnley Dan Irving 15,217 41.9 1
Reading Lorenzo Quelch 1,462 5.2 4
Romford Arthur Whiting 2,580 14.4 3
Silvertown John Joseph Jones 6,971 51.6 1

By-elections, 1918-1922Edit

Election Candidate Votes Percentage Position
1921 Kirkcaldy Burghs by-election Tom Kennedy 11,674 53.4 1

1922 UK general electionEdit

Constituency Candidate Votes Percentage Position
Burnley Dan Irving 17,385 39.1 1
Kirkcaldy Burghs Tom Kennedy 12,089 48.6 2

1923 UK general electionEdit

Constituency Candidate Votes Percentage Position
Buckingham Edward J. Pay 11,824 47.0 2
Burnley Dan Irving 16,848 37.8 1
Islington South William Sampson Cluse 7,764 37.0 1
Islington West Frederick Montague 7,955 41.4 1
Kirkcaldy Burghs Tom Kennedy 14,221 54.4 1

1924 UK general electionEdit

Election Candidate Votes Percentage Position
Buckingham Edward J. Pay 8,939 30.6 2
Islington South William Sampson Cluse 10,347 42.8 1
Islington West Frederick Montague 10,174 45.3 1
Kirkcaldy Burghs Tom Kennedy 14,038 52.7 1

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Max Beer, A History of British Socialism
  2. ^ Peter Barberis, John McHugh and Mike Tyldesley, Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations
  3. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1975). Minor Parties in British By-elections, 1885-1974. London: Macmillan Press. pp. 104–105.
  4. ^ "End of the S.D.F.", Manchester Guardian, 2 November 1939, p.3
  5. ^ Martin Crick, The History of the Social-Democratic Federation, p.332