Monday, April 29, 2013

(Politics) UKIP: A Party increasing in popularity and enemies in equal measure

It may concern some and perplex others as to why UKIP is experiencing a rise in the polls of late but what is clear is that UKIP scare the hell out the Conservatives. The Conservatives have been tearing into UKIP with current Minister without portfolio Ken Clarke publicly branding UKIP a “collection of clowns”[1] .Prime minster David Cameron went even further and branded UKIP as group of "fruitcakes and closet racists”[2].

You may rightly ask why such hastily for what is effectively a two issue party and the answer is dead simple, UKIP represent a serious threat to the Tories in 2015. UKIP have growing in the polls thanks to their effective two track strategy of  exploiting the  British public’s almost inbred euroscepticism and long term anxiety about immigration to the hilt and should they maintain or continue their growth in the polls, they may split the conservative vote in 2015.

David Cameron has a personal stake in quashing the UKIP surge as there has been a number of hints that should UKIP perform well in Thursdays upcoming local elections, Cameron’s party leadership could face a challenge. So with this in mind, he couldn’t have been too pleased scanning for the latest polls last Friday evening and finding out that UKIP party leader Nigel Farage, according to a YouGov poll, was found the “best leaders out of the four parties”[3]

His mood hardly would have improved upon the news of an article where London mayor Boris Johnson, the favourite to succeed Cameron should 2015 bring electoral disaster, described Farage as a “rather engaging geezer”[4].While other prominent party members have sought to cut the Ukip to pieces in the press, Johnson broke the party’s line of attack established by Clarke and Cameron and chose to stress the similarities between the parties pointing out that Farage “is essentially no different from the conservatives”[5].

However if there is one major threat to continued growth of Ukip it is clearly the party itself. Ukip has long been accused as being a party full of fascists, racists and right wingers who wouldn’t look out of place at a mental hospital by its enemies and the party has gone some way to deal with this perception but with the supercritical eye of the media glaring at them, the cracks at the seams of the party are laid bare.  

With the fall of the BNP, former members of the troubled extreme  right party have turned to Ukip to continue their political careers such as Susan Bowen, who was  chucked out of Ukip was found out forcing Farage to admit that some BNP members “may have already slipped through the  net” and reveal a weakness in his party’s organisation by revealing that “we don’t have the party apparatus in a very short space of time to fully vet 1,700 people [6].

UKip’s perceived reputation as being a party full of racists were not helped by one of it council candidates suggesting on her social media page that “Second World War had been "engineered by the Zionist jews", adding: "Only the Zionists could sacrifice their own in the gas chambers"[7]. Reprehensible and incredibly stupid comments like these is hat could ruin or at least put a dent in Ukip’s rise in the polls  and could put paid to their larger ambitions ensuring that they share the same fate as the Nick Griffin led BNP.

In sum, only time will tell what is to become of UKip in the very near future but what is for sure is that the Conservatives and the media will be watching carefully every step of the way.

[2] Ibid
[3] W.Dahlgreen, 2013, Farage Tops Leader Poll,
[4] Huffing Post Uk, 2013, Boris Johnson Claims Ukip Leader Nigel Farage ‘Essentially A Conservative’,
[5] Ibid
[6] M. Brown, 2013, BNP members ‘slipped into Ukip’,
[7] T. Moseley, 2013, Anna-Marie Crampton, Ukip Candidate, Suspended From Party But Denies Anti-Semitism,

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