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Union Federal Party

The Union Federal Party (Afrikaans: Verenigde Federale Party) was a white liberal South African party that broke away from the United Party after the 1953 election. It never gained any seats in Parliament, and ceased to exist in 1960.


The party was led by Senator Heaton Nicholls who was previously the United Party opposition leader in the Senate.[1]:305 It was formed on 10 May 1953.[2]:330 It was founded by members of Torch Commando from Natal.[3][4]:254 The party was also said to have support from leaders of the Commando in other provinces.[4]:254

It was a British diaspora party, committed to retaining links with the British Commonwealth and monarchy.[5]:145 The party was centred in Natal, concerned with ensuring the province's autonomy.[1]:305 Federal provincial autonomy was seen as a way preventing Afrikaner nationalism from dominating the political scene and could include ceding from the Union if that occurred or English language rights in the Union were interfered with.[4]:254 It also wished to explore liberalising the non-white franchise.[5]:145 The liberal franchise policy for non-whites included Indians to be enrolled on a communal voters roll similar to the Coloureds in the Cape Province and the possibility of a voters roll for Black South Africans who were highly educated.[1]:305[4]:254


  1. ^ a b c Carter, Gwendolen M. (January 1954). "Can Apartheid Succeed in South Africa?". Foreign Affairs. 32 (2): 296–309. JSTOR 20031028. – via JSTOR (subscription required)
  2. ^ Bernstein, Edgar (1954). "Union of South Africa". The American Jewish Year Book. 55: 327–339. JSTOR 23603638. – via JSTOR (subscription required)
  3. ^ Two New Parties For S. Africa; The Times, 11 May 1953; pg8 col G
  4. ^ a b c d Paterson, Bruce (Autumn 1953). "The South African Scene". International Journal. 8 (4): 249–255. JSTOR 40197967. – via JSTOR (subscription required)
  5. ^ a b Carter, Gwendolen M. (March 1955). "Union of South Africa: Politics of White Supremacy". The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 298: 142–150. JSTOR 1028714. – via JSTOR (subscription required)