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The UK Independence Party: The dimensions of mainstreaming

Usherwood, S (2016) The UK Independence Party: The dimensions of mainstreaming In: Radical Right-Wing Populist Parties in Western Europe: Into the Mainstream? Routledge. ISBN 9781138914988

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In many ways, UKIP represents a classic case of mainstreaming of a peripheral party: its public profile extends far beyond that of any other equivalent in the post-war British polity and its pretensions to power look more credible than at any point in its history. However, this chapter will argue that such impressions need to be taken with much care. Firstly, the opportunity structure of British politics – first-past-the-post and still highly centralised – militates against the party’s likelihood of success beyond the media. Second, the evolving and expanding policy base of the party makes it ever-harder to accommodate the very disparate set of supporters that has been built up, especially because so much of it is negatively constructed. Third, the party suffers from a persistent lack of organisational development to match either its growing public support or its much-enlarged (but passive) membership: the personality of Nigel Farage is central in this and the capacity of UKIP to develop beyond him remains in doubt. Finally, there is a question of whether UKIP is a radical right party at all, given both the diversity of ideological positions among members and the composition of its policies. In summary, the chapter argues that UKIP’s transition to the mainstream remains a work in progress, with considerable scope for failure.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Politics
Authors :
Date : 24 February 2016
Additional Information : Copyright 2016 Routledge. Full text may be available at a later date.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Oct 2015 09:41
Last Modified : 28 Oct 2015 09:41

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