What Kind of Party Is the UK Independence Party? The Future of the Extreme Right in Britain or Just Another Tory Party?

Anders Widfeldt, Heinz Brandenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article aims to further our understanding of the nature of the UK Independence Party. Our approach differs from much of the existing literature on party families, by analysing public attitudes towards the UK Independence Party in comparison with other parties. Multidimensional unfolding is utilised to map UK Independence Party’s place in the British party system, Tobit regressions are employed to compare UK Independence Party’s support base with that of the British National Party and the Conservatives and, finally, latent class analysis is used to assess the heterogeneity in UK Independence Party’s support base. The conclusion is that, with increasing success, the UK Independence Party has established itself as the only viable electoral option for British extreme right voters while also making serious inroads into more traditional conservative circles, who are Eurosceptic but not extreme. This bridging position between the mainstream and the extreme makes the UK Independence Party distinctive from other British parties and has parallels with the positions of anti-establishment, European Union sceptical and immigration-critical parties elsewhere in Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-600
Number of pages24
JournalPolitical Studies
Volume66
Issue number3
Early online date27 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • UK Independence Party
  • extreme right
  • party families
  • censored regression
  • latent class analysis

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