Understanding UKIP: Identity, Social Change and the Left Behind

Ford, Robert and Goodwin, Matthew J. (2014) Understanding UKIP: Identity, Social Change and the Left Behind. Political Quarterly, 85 (3). pp. 277-284. ISSN 0032-3179. E-ISSN 1467-923X. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-923X.12099) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://doi.org/10.1111/1467-923X.12099

Abstract

In this article we explore the structural shifts which help explain the emergence of UKIP as a major radical-right political force in Britain. There are two distinct, but related, aspects to this story. The first is the changes to Britain's economic and social structure that have pushed to the margins a class of voters who we describe as the ‘left behind’: older, working-class, white voters with few educational qualifications. The second is long-term generational changes in the values that guide British society and shape the outlook of voters. These value shifts have also left older white working-class voters behind, as a worldview which was once seen as mainstream has become regarded as parochial and intolerant by the younger, university-educated, more socially liberal elites who define the political consensus of twenty-first-century Britain. We then move to consider the political changes that have further marginalised these voters, as first Labour and then the Conservatives focused their energies on recruiting and retaining support from middle-class, moderate swing voters. Finally, we show how UKIP has developed into an effective electoral machine which looks to win and retain the loyalties of these voters. Finally, we discuss the longer-term implications of the radical-right revolt, which has the potential to change the nature of party competition in Britain in the 2015 election and beyond.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: UKIP; radical right; political parties; Britain; elections; immigration; euroscepticism; value change
Subjects: J Political Science
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Matthew Goodwin
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2016 11:50 UTC
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2016 12:16 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/54377 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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