From the Telegraph-
The English Democrat, their objective is “to put the English first and fight for an all English Parliament to be the bedrock of England”. It’s considered by some to be a far right party, partly because it was estimated in 2013 that one in ten members had been part of the BNP.
But the English Democrats’ manifesto is in fact a pretty interesting document, and although (English) nationalist, certainly not fascist. There’s some genuine liberalism in there. Strong support for social welfare, including a living wage and more state control of the economy. Some of it is unusually enlightened: criminals found to be addicted to drugs should be taken into care for example. True there’s a bit of social conservatism mixed in, such as support for traditional marriage, but nothing extraordinary. Fair to say, though, that their line on immigration and foreign policy is stringent: EU exit (subject to referendum), withdrawal from the Human Rights Act, and from the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees. All illegal immigrants should be immediately deported, and there would be a freeze on all immigration for five years, with immediate effect.
They party pulled in 65,000 votes in 2010, but this year it was just one tenth of that. Matthew Roberts – Policy Chairman and responsible for presiding over changes to the manifesto – stood in Sheffield South East. He managed, in his words, “an embarrassing 141 votes”. This poor showing, he reckons, was down to the success of Ukip. “I think we all knew that those who’d voted for us, or were likely to, would go to Ukip. We weren’t that surprised to be honest. I didn’t do much campaigning at all there.” There is certainly quite a bit of overlap between Ukip and the English Democrats, with the obvious exception of Ukip being a unionist party.
Like Sid, Matthew complained about the lack of financial backing, and the difficulty of running a national campaign on limited funds. But Matthew thinks that running for parliament is a unique way to get the message out. “We knew we wouldn’t win of course, but we need to stoke the flames, to raise our profile, our brand name. Standing for election is a good way of doing that.” I’d not really considered how a name on the ballot is decent advertising in itself – it can reach 40,000 people, after all