The ragbag of candidates have no platform in common apart from having signed up to the "Bell principles", drawn up by ex-Independent MP Martin Bell, which amount to little more than agreeing to be "free from the control of any political party", yet also committing to "work with other elected independents as a group with a chosen spokesperson" - which sounds to me like the makings of a political party, but there you go.
Some of these Independent candidates are former representatives of existing political parties: for example, the ex-Labour MP Tony Clarke is standing in his old seat of Northampton South (which should helpfully split the Left wing vote in the seat being defended by Conservative MP Brian Binley), whilst John Stevens, who is challenging John Bercow in Buckingham, is an ultra-europhile former Tory MEP who set up the Pro-Euro Conservative Party before joining the Liberal Democrats.
So the notion that these Independents are in some way all non-political moderates is patent nonsense. Quite how they can all form a cohesive block is beyond me, given that there is no political world view that unites them. And that is where any perceived merit in backing these Independents falls down.
Whilst we will all be electing someone to representative in Parliament at the general election, we are also looking to play our part in choosing the government of the country. And voting for any of these Independents wlll by definition remove the opportunity to influence whether the general election delivers five more years of Labour Government or a new Conservative administration.
> Today's Guardian has a feature on Independent candidates at this general election