The Northern Party was a regionalist political party in Northern England, founded by leader Michael Dawson and former Blackpool MP Harold Elletson in March 2015 to contest five marginal seats in Lancashire at the 2015 general election. The party was one of three regionalist parties contesting the general election in the north of England. Members included former activists from the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green parties.
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|Local government (England & Wales)|
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Michael Dawson, a former Executive Committee member of the Labour Campaign for Human Rights, is the nephew of former MP for Lancaster Hilton Dawson who now runs the North East Party. At the launch of the party he said "We've been planning this for months. This is a Northern rebellion against a system that has failed the North." The party argued for devolution of power to an autonomous Northern region, and for business investment and environmental protection.
The party described its symbol as "a Norse raven, closely associated with the ancient kingdom of Northumbria (today's North of England) and the struggle for autonomy".
The party stood candidates in five seats in Lancashire:
- Morecambe and Lunesdale: Michael Dawson (85 votes). Dawson appeared on the ballot as an independent.
- Lancaster and Fleetwood: Harold Elletson (174 votes). Elletson was the Conservative MP for Blackpool North and Fleetwood.
- Blackpool North and Cleveleys: James Walsh (57 votes). Walsh is an ecologist, former Green Party member, and part of Frack Free Lancashire
- Fylde: Elizabeth Clarkson (230 votes). Clarkson had been a Conservative councillor in Preston.
- Rossendale & Darwen: Shaun Hargreaves (45 votes). Hargreaves was previously in the Green Party.
Paul Salveson noted the smaller vote share than the North East Party and Yorkshire First at the same General Election and a lack of parish councillors versus those other parties, and suggested this was because the Northern Party, though they stood in Lancashire, had a Northern identity rather than a Lancashire identity.
The party was registered with the Electoral Commission on 1 April 2015, with Michael Dawson as Leader and Treasurer and Stephen Gilpin as Nominating Officer and an address in Liverpool. Chairman Ron Bell was a former Conservative councillor and prospective parliamentary candidate in Blackpool South. The Northern Party voluntarily deregistered as a party on 8 April 2016.
- "Former MP to fight seat". Blackpool Gazette. April 2015. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
- "Northern Party To Contest Marginal Seats". The Bay. March 2015. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
- Bounds, Andrew; Tighe, Chris; Brown, John Murray (April 23, 2015). "General election: English regional parties press for power". Financial Times. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
- "Ex Tory MP forms the Northern Party". The Guardian. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- "The Northern Party: New party targets Lancashire seats". BBC News. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- "A coastal battle at Morecambe and Lunesdale". Westmoreland Gazette. April 23, 2015. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
- "Why the Raven?". Northern Party. Archived from the original on 26 April 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-19. Retrieved 2015-10-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Ex-Tory explains switch decision". Blackpool Gazette. April 14, 2015. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
- Salveson, Paul (January 2016). "Will the North rise again?". In Richard Hayton; Arianna Giovannini; Craig Berry (eds.). The Politics of the North: Governance, territory and identity in Northern England (PDF). White Rose Consortium for the North of England / University of Leeds. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
- "The Northern Party". Registrations. Electoral Commission. Retrieved 26 April 2015.