UKIP's Performance in the General Election: A Series of Unfulfilled Expectations
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However, the party is also very careful to shun accusations of racism, in an attempt to counteract the negative impact of recurrent racist statements within its own ranks: Immigrants are not the problem; it is the current immigration system that is broken".
The document also takes up the idea of "health tourism" on which Nigel Farage has been vigorously campaigning: We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not combined. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed.
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Explaining support for the radical right in Britain, Oxo Available online at https: At the same time, the party pledges to take minimum wage earners out of income tax, thereby reflecting its recent shift of focus towards the working-class, which a recent academic study has identified as the main basis of UKIP support. Yet, the party's origins and ideology also keep it close to the right-wing of the Conservative party.
As far as education is concerned, UKIP supports the creation of grammar-schools and argued in the manifesto that it would ultimately like to have one in every town. The party also promised to remove tuition fees for students taking approved degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine STEMMprovided they work and pay tax in the UK for five years after graduation. Students from the EU were to pay the same fee rates as international students.
In terms of political reform, in the manifesto UKIP stuck to its previous pledge to introduce "English vote for English laws" and was in favour of a proportional voting system.
Finally, UKIP rejected multiculturalism which "has led to an alarming fragmentation of British society" and aimed to promote Britishness and "a unifying British culture".
Yet, unfortunately for the party, its choice to focus its campaign on immigration — the issue on which the party enjoys the greatest amount of support compared with other parties — did not pay off, as it actually played a relatively small part in the election campaign which was more centred on the economy. Europe was not an issue either, as David Cameron's referendum pledge seemed to have cleared the air on that matter. UKIP was therefore denied the space it had been used to occupying in recent years and was squeezed out of the campaign, finding it hard even to exist, which helps to account for Nigel Farage's aggressive tactics to capture attention.
The party also suffered from the competition with the new insurgent leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, who combined charisma and novelty, attracting media attention to the detriment of the more familiar Nigel Farage and UKIP. As election day approached, the impression was that the UKIP campaign had failed to take off. Yet, the party performed strongly in terms of vote share, coming third ahead of the Liberal Democrats with UKIP gathered nearly 4 million votes nationwide, the discrepancy between votes and seats being a result of the first-past-the-post system.
Comparatively, the SNP got 4. UKIP denounced the unfairness of the "broken" electoral system which had "disenfranchised" 22 millions of voters, and announced its intention to make electoral reform a new priority. The challenge for UKIP now is to find the means to build on these second places in the perspective of the general election, by improving its party machine in order to turn its substantial support into actual seats.
Evidence of UKIP's progress is also borne out by the fact that the party increased its vote share by more than any other party in constituencies across the country since the previous general election. The party has worked hard to shed its image as a splinter group of the Conservative party, resulting from the ideological proximity between the two parties but also from the significant number of Tory politicians who have defected to UKIP over the years since its foundation — as was the case for its first two elected MPs in the autumn In order to distance itself from the Conservative party and widen its electoral support base, UKIP has operated a strategic populist shift which has boosted its potential damaging effect on Labour.
Recent academic research by Ford and Goodwin has demonstrated the extent of that threat, showing that a growing proportion of UKIP support comes from traditional Labour backgrounds-the "left-behind" voters. The catch-all dimension of UKIP was illustrated by the European elections, in which the party finished first, taking votes from the three major parties to an unprecedented extent.
However, several studies 27 have shown that the sharpest increase in recent UKIP support has come from non-Tory supporters, vindicating the party's populist strategy. The insurgent party might even have deprived Labour of a handful of seats, as the UKIP vote was higher than the size of the Tory majority in 9 seats which the Conservative party won from Labour.
Following his defeat, Farage kept his word and announced that he was stepping down as party leader, thereby turning a new page of UKIP's history — only to turn it back three days later, prompting an internal civil war reminiscent of UKIP's past leadership quarrels. Indeed, Farage declared that he had finally withdrawn his resignation following a meeting with the party's national executive committee which had unanimously rejected it, pleading with him to remain as leader.
Senior party figures, among whom the party's economics spokesman Patrick O'Flynn, deplored the "shock and awe" tactics adopted by Nigel Farage during the campaign under the influence of his inner circle of advisers who were taking the party in a hard-right direction comparable to the Tea party movement in the US.
- UK Independence Party
- Nigel Farage
- UKIP South West UK
They criticised Nigel Farage's aggressive campaign, notably on the issue of foreigners with HIV — a policy which was overtly condemned by Douglas Carswell after the election. Stuart Wheeler, one of the party's biggest donors, publicly called for the UKIP leader to stand down and give way to a less controversial figure. Farage's critics felt that a proper election contest was needed, and concerns about a drift towards "personality cult" were raised, which might lead UKIP to be seen as Nigel Farage's party — which is already the case actually as UKIP is very much a one man band.
While dismissing the extent of internal dissent and underlining the "phenomenal" support he enjoyed within the party, Nigel Farage let go of two of his closest aides who had been targeted by his detractors.
Nigel Farage: Ukip With Tommy Robinson Will Become The BNP
The UKIP leader quickly resumed his grip on the party, purging it of two senior party figures who had been central in the row, Suzanne Evans and Patrick O'Flynn, who both stood down from their paid roles within UKIP and atoned for the turmoil they had caused.
Those questions are very likely to resurface in the future, all the more so since the party's only MP Douglas Carswell is definitely at odds with Farage over tactics and direction. The evolution of the party towards institutionalisation calls for organisational and ideological changes which are currently under way, but which are also a potential source of tensions within UKIP.
Conclusion and future prospects 27UKIP's disappointing campaign therefore produced disappointing results. The party lost half its representation in the Commons, retaining only one MP — an ex-Tory, meaning that UKIP has still not managed to win a parliamentary seat which did not involve a Tory defector.
Nigel Farage struggled to exist during the campaign, as immigration turned out not to be a central issue and he was eclipsed by the new rising SNP leader. He resorted to aggressive tactics and rhetoric in order to capture attention, causing a sense of unease within the party ranks which came to the surface in the aftermath of the election. Beyond the general election, what was at stake in the episode of factional infighting was the referendum campaign to come: This was explicitly articulated by Stuart Wheeler and Douglas Carswell, who called for a less confrontational figure to take the lead.
He is clearly not ready to relinquish his role in the party and take a back seat at the precise moment when the referendum he has dedicated his entire political career to obtaining is about to take place — this is the fight of his life: Nigel Farage's credibility has been severely damaged by this episode of "unresignation", which might leave traces in public opinion as well.
It would have been better for the country he wants to rule one day if he had stayed home and tried to persuade Gordon Brown to give the people the promised referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon. I had not realised Mr Farage's blind adherence to right-wing politics involved disloyalty and discourtesy to the Royal Family. He should be thoroughly ashamed of himself and should apologise to the British people he represents. I'd never heard of you, nobody in Europe had ever heard of you. I defend absolutely Mr Farage's right to disagree about the policy or institutions of the Unionbut not to personally insult our guests in the European Parliament or the country from which they may come I myself fought for free speech as the absolute cornerstone of a democratic society.
I am disappointed by Mr Farage's behaviour, which sits ill with the great parliamentary tradition of his own country. I cannot accept this sort of behaviour in the European Parliament. I invited him to apologise, but he declined to do so.
Bercow was re-elected and in second place with 10, votes was John Stevensa former Conservative MEP who campaigned as an independent accompanied by "Flipper the Dolphin" a reference to MPs flipping second homes.
He was also charged with threatening to kill an AAIB official involved in the investigation into the accident. The judge said that the defendant was "clearly extremely disturbed" at the time the offences happened, adding "He is a man who does need help. If I can find a way of giving him help I will.
UKIP Videos. UKIP Devon. The UK Independence Party
Farage described the mistake as an internal error. The party received 23 per cent of the vote in the local elections, winning council seats, and placing it only 2 points behind the governing Conservative Party and 9 points ahead of the Liberal Democrats. Farage was mobbed by well-wishers as he made his way to his favourite pub, the Marquis of Granby, for a celebratory drink. The demonstration was organised by groups including the Radical Independence Campaign and saw protesters vocally accuse Farage of being "racist", "fascist", and a "homophobe", and tell him to "go back to London".
Farage made attempts to leave by taxi but was prevented from doing so, and was eventually taken away in an armoured police van while protesters continued to shout. During an interview with BBC's Good Morning Scotland radio show, Farage described the protesters as "yobbo fascist scum"[ citation needed ] before hanging up, stating that the questions regarding the incident in Edinburgh were insulting and unpleasant. Two hundred protesters heckled and booed him.Meet the Ukippers: Trailer - BBC Two
It was the first time a political party other than the Labour Party and Conservative Party had won the popular vote in a national election since the general election. His daughters ran away to hide and were later found to be safe. Farage, when asked what he thought about the incident, called the protesters "scum". He subsequently announced his resignation as the leader of UKIP, citing that he is a "man of his word" since he promised to resign if he did not win his seat.
However, on 11 Maythe party chairman said they would not accept Mr Farage's post-election resignation because the party's "election campaign had been a great success". O'Flynn accused Farage of paying too much attention to advisors that "would like to take UKIP in the direction of some hard-right, ultra-aggressive American Tea Party-type movement", singling out the NHS and gun control liberalisation as particular issues.
Raheem KassamFarage's chief of staff and editor of Breitbart London was later sacked as a result, whilst O'Flynn stated that he continued to support Farage as party leader. According to The Guardianthe informant is alleged to have actively encouraged members to commit criminal damage. Farage had said he was the victim of "trade union-funded activists" who were inciting vandalism.
He reported that he had spoken with the French police but did not wish to pursue the matter any further. The owner of the breakdown garage concerned had said the problem was probably shoddy repair work, but he had been unable to communicate directly with Farage.
I never ever used it. The Isle of Man is not a tax haven. Please help improve the article by presenting facts as a neutrally-worded summary with appropriate citations.