Do the smaller parties offer a real alternative this election?

21 June 2024

Our Head of Public Policy Tim Dieppe gives his assessment of the smaller political parties’ manifestos, from a Christian perspective

There are several smaller parties fielding candidates in the election this year.

We have picked out some of them to highlight what is in their manifestos. These parties are not fielding candidates in every constituency, so most people will not be able to vote for them. You can check who is standing in your constituency here.

Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA)

The CPA is the only explicitly Christian party fielding candidates in this election. It has 22 candidates standing in this election. The CPA has a substantial manifesto which is 65 pages long and contains a whole host of radical policy ideas inspired by Christian values.

The CPA champions family values in its manifesto with proposals to repeal the redefinition of marriage, have a fully transferrable marriage tax allowance, a £1,200 grant to couples marrying for the first time conditional on attending marriage training, and a £6,000 grant for a first child conditional on attending parent training. It also wants to require adoptive parents to be in a heterosexual marriage and to have enhanced child benefit for parents who stay at home. It would end the secrecy of the Family Court system and restore Sunday as a day of rest and family time.

On life issues, the CPA would repeal the Abortion Act, and use the money saved to fund crisis pregnancy support. The CPA is also opposed to euthanasia.

The CPA would make it “strictly illegal to provide any form of ‘gender reassignment’ treatment or surgery on children under 18 years of age.” It would not fund any kind of ‘gender reassignment’ treatment or surgery on the NHS. It opposes attempts to ban ‘conversion therapy’. It would scrap all Diversity, Equity and Inclusion roles.

On Education, the CPA would make relationships and sex education ‘opt in’ rather than opt out. It would ensure that parents have a right to know the details of the curriculum, and a right to withdraw if it goes against their convictions. The party would also ensure that all schools abide by the Education Act 1944 which mandates Christian worship in schools.

The CPA would abolish ‘hate crimes’ and ‘hate incidents’ so that there are just crimes. It would reform the House of Lords and introduce proportional representation voting. It would also repeal the Gambling Act 2005. The CPA would support persecuted Christians internationally and make foreign aid conditional on repeal of blasphemy laws.

There are some radical economic policies too such as a turnover tax and ending fractional reserve banking.

The Heritage Party

The Heritage Party has 41 candidates standing across the country in this election. The manifesto says that “Our Common Law based on Christian Principles is the fairest system of justice in the world.” This is the only mention of ‘Christian’ in the manifesto, but its policies are very much based on Christian values.

The Heritage Party is keen to defend freedom of speech. It wants to abolish the concept of ‘hate speech’ and to require codes of conduct to allow freedom of expression outside of the workplace and at universities and online.

The Heritage Party intends to encourage the traditional family structure through the tax system and in education. It would banish LGBT indoctrination from schools and ban courts from ruing against the wishes of next of kin in end-of-life cases.

The Party would end legal abortion except to save the life of the mother. It would stop funding overseas abortion programmes.

On constitutional issues, the Heritage Party would leave the ECHR and rely on British Common Law. It would introduce proportional representation and reform the House of Lords. Economically, the party is in favour of lowering taxes and supporting free markets.

The Social Democratic Party (SDP)

The SDP was founded in 1981 when some Labour MPs left Labour to form a more centrist party. The party is standing 122 candidates in this election, the most it has fielded since 1987.

The SDP is pro-family. It advocates for full sharing of tax allowances for couples raising children and for families to be given preference in council house and social housing allocation. It suggests that all parents of dependent children under school age should be able to elect to work from home three days a week for at least two years unless that is impracticable for the job. All policies should be subject to a family test.

The SDP wants age-restricted controls on smartphones, and age verification for pornography. It would have a national programme of resources and online support for parents to home-school their children, with invigilated key stage examinations for them, and safeguarding and socialisation checks at appropriate ages.

There is no mention of abortion or euthanasia, LGBT or conversion therapy in this manifesto. It does say that there should be segregation by biological sex in sports and in prisons and that they are opposed to gender self-identification. It wants physical or drug treatments for gender dysphoria prohibited for under 18-year-olds, and biological sex to be retained in public sector data such as crime statistics, poverty metrics, and public health research. It advocates plain English for biological sex in health and reproductive care.

The SDP would restore the principle that speech is not criminal unless it incites crime or terrorism. It would keep cannabis illegal, with on-the-spot fines for use. It would also ban advertising of gambling.

The single mention of ‘church’ is a policy to support parish councils to prevent churches falling into disrepair. There is no mention of Christianity.

On the constitution, the SDP would create an English Parliament outside London, and adopt proportional representation voting. It would replace the Human Rights Act with a Bill of Rights, and withdraw from the ECHR. It is in favour of further decentralisation of political power and of public ownership of natural monopolies.

Scottish Family Party (SFP)

The SFP is standing 16 candidates in Scottish constituencies in this election.

There is no mention of ‘Christian’ or ‘Church’ in this manifesto, but the policies do reflect Biblical values.

As one might expect from the name of the party, the SFP is very focused on promoting policies for the family. The SFP would oppose any further attempts to redefine marriage and would have a fully transferrable marriage tax allowance. It would restrict fertility treatment to a man and a woman in a long-term relationship, and give preference to heterosexual couples for fostering and adoption. It proposes a council tax reduction for a family caring for an elderly relative and to increase child benefit and scrap the two-child benefit cap. SFP would also repeal the smacking ban and withdraw medical confidentiality for under-16s. The SFP is opposed to the incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into law, arguing that it: “is commonly used as a pretext for wider ideological campaigning, often undermining the authority of parents.”

On education, the SFP says that schools should be required to teach about marriage and that LGBT indoctrination should be stopped. It would require schools to publish all relationships and sex education resources and give parents the right to withdraw from these lessons.

The SFP would aim to ultimately ban abortion except for where the mother’s life is endangered. In the meantime, it would like to reduce the 24-week limit for abortions and disallow abortions on grounds of disability after this limit. It is opposed to the introduction of assisted suicide and euthanasia.

The SFP would criminalise buying sex and stop children from accessing pornography. It would also stop transgender treatment for under-16s. It would repeal Gender Recognition Act, arguing that: “there should be no provision to change gender legally.” It supports the right to seek therapy to maintain or desist sexual desires – often referred to as ‘conversion therapy’.

The SFP would defend free speech. It says: “criticism or ridicule directed towards any belief system must not be illegal.”

Vote Life

Vote Life is not a political party, but it is a network of 22 independent candidates who are standing to make abortion a voting issue. These are single issue candidates who argue that the most important policy to consider in politics today is the horrific industrial scale killing of the unborn in the UK.

Vote Life argues that nothing is more important than the right to life. How can any Christian in good conscience ever vote for a candidate who does not oppose killing innocent babies? Vote Life aims to make abortion an election issue and to get Christians and others voting for life.


We are aware at Christian Concern of courageous Christians standing for election under each of these banners.

When compared with the larger party’s manifestos, it is easy to see why Christians would support them, with each party taking at least one of the pillars for a flourishing society seriously: Christian foundations, life, family and freedom.

It is worthwhile for Christians to seriously consider voting for one of these candidates. Every vote will send the message that we want to see all parties promote policies that protect life, value the family, promote freedom and build on the Christian foundations of society.

We need to pray for these candidates and for a sea change in our culture that would see Jesus Christ honoured and followed at the heart of society.

Would you join us at our election prayer rally on 3 July?

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