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UK Independence Party
Welsh name Plaid Annibyniaeth y DU
Leader Nigel Farage MEP
Secretary-General Jonathan Arnott
Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall MEP
Executive chairman Steve Crowther
President Jeffrey Titford
Founded 3 September 1993
Headquarters Newton Abbot, Devon
Youth wing Young Independence
Membership  (2013) Increase 30,000[1]
Ideology Euroscepticism
Right-wing populism
Political position Right-wing[5]
International affiliation None
European affiliation None
European Parliament group Europe of Freedom and Democracy
Colours Purple and Yellow
House of Commons Template:Infobox political party/seats
House of Lords Template:Infobox political party/seats
European Parliament Template:Infobox political party/seats
Local government Template:Infobox political party/seats
Police and Crime Commissioner Template:Infobox political party/seats
Politics of the United Kingdom
Political parties

The UK Independence Party (UKIP, Ukip, /ˈjuːkɪp/ ) is a Eurosceptic[6][7] right-wing populist[8] political party in the United Kingdom, founded in 1993. The party describes itself in its constitution as a "democratic, libertarian party"[9] and, as of July 2013, has a membership of 30,000.[1]

As of September 2013, UKIP has 9 of the 73 UK seats in the European Parliament, three members in the House of Lords and one seat in the Northern Ireland Assembly,[10][11] though it has never won a seat in the House of Commons. The UKIP performance in the 2013 local election was the "biggest surge for a fourth party" in British politics since the Second World War,[12] coming fourth in the number of council seats won and third in projected nationwide vote share.[13][14] Nigel Farage is the leader of UKIP after being re-elected on 5 November 2010,[15] having previously been leader from 2006 to 2009. Farage is a founding member of the party[16] (from its formation as the Anti-Federalist League in 1991) and has been a UKIP Member of the European Parliament (MEP) since 1999.[17]


Founding and early years

UKIP was founded in 1993 by Alan Sked and other members of the cross-party Anti-Federalist League, a political party set up in November 1991 with the aim of fielding candidates opposed to the Maastricht Treaty.[18]

The nascent party's primary objective was withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. It attracted a few members of the Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party, which was split on the European question after the pound was forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992 and the struggle over ratification of the Maastricht Treaty. UKIP candidates stood in the 1997 general election, but were overshadowed by James Goldsmith's Referendum Party.

After the election, Sked resigned from the leadership and left the party because he felt "they are racist and have been infected by the far-right"[19] and "doomed to remain on the political fringes".[20] However, Goldsmith died soon after the election and the Referendum Party was dissolved, with a resulting influx of new UKIP supporters. The leadership election was won by the millionaire businessman Michael Holmes, and in the 1999 elections to the European Parliament UKIP gained three seats and 7% of the vote. In that election, Nigel Farage (South East England), Jeffrey Titford (East of England), and Michael Holmes (South West England) were elected.

Over the following months there was a power struggle between Holmes, and the party's National Executive Committee (NEC). This was partly due to Holmes making a speech perceived as calling for greater powers for the European Parliament against the European Commission. Ordinary party members forced the resignation of both Holmes and the entire NEC and Jeffrey Titford was subsequently elected leader. Holmes resigned from the party itself in March 2000. There was a legal battle when he tried to continue as an independent MEP until resigning from the European Parliament in December 2002, when he was replaced by Graham Booth, the second candidate on the UKIP list in South West England.

UKIP put up candidates in more than 420 seats in the 2001 general election, attaining 1.5% of the vote and failing to win any representation at Westminster. It also failed to break through in the elections to the Scottish Parliament or the Welsh Assembly, despite those elections being held under proportional representation. In 2002, Titford stood down as party leader, but continued to sit as a UKIP MEP. He was replaced as leader by Roger Knapman. In 2004 UKIP reorganised itself nationally as a private company limited by guarantee, with the legal name of United Kingdom Independence Party Limited, though branches remained as unincorporated associations.[21][22]

Kilroy Silk and UKIP under Knapman

The 2004 European elections provided UKIP's first electoral success, coming third with winning 12 MEPs elected. In the London Assembly elections the same year, UKIP won two London Assembly seats.

In late 2004, the mainstream UK press speculated on if or when the UKIP MEP, former Labour Party MP and chat-show host Robert Kilroy-Silk would take control of the party. These comments were heightened by Kilroy-Silk's speech at the UKIP party conference in Bristol on 2 October 2004, in which he called for the Conservative Party to be "killed off" following the by-election in Hartlepool, where UKIP finished third (with 10.2%) above the Conservatives in fourth (9.7%).

Interviewed by Channel 4 television, Kilroy-Silk did not deny having ambitions to lead the party, but stressed that Roger Knapman would lead it into the next general election. However, the next day, on Breakfast with Frost, he criticised Knapman's leadership.[23] After further disagreement with the leadership, Kilroy-Silk resigned the UKIP whip in the European Parliament on 27 October 2004.[24] Initially, he remained a member, while seeking a bid for the party leadership. However, this was not successful and he resigned completely from UKIP on 20 January 2005, calling it a "joke".[25] Two weeks later, he founded his own party, Veritas, taking a number of UKIP members, including both of the London Assembly members, with him.[26]

UKIP had hoped to sustain its momentum in the 2005 general election, but despite fielding 495 candidates, the party failed to achieve a breakthrough as it had in the European elections a year before. UKIP gained 618,000 votes, or 2.3% of the total votes cast in the election, an increase of 220,000 votes from its result in the 2001 general election. This placed it fourth in terms of votes cast nationally.[27] However, the party again failed to win any seats at Westminster. 45 UKIP candidates saved their deposits, up from only six in 2001. Its best performance was in Boston & Skegness, where its candidate Richard Horsnell came third with 9.6% of the vote.[28]

Following the 2005 general election, Kilroy-Silk subsequently resigned from Veritas after its performance in the election, the party having received only 40,607 votes.[27]

2009 European elections

On 28 March 2009, the Conservative Party's biggest-ever donor, Stuart Wheeler, donated £100,000 to UKIP after criticising David Cameron's stance towards the Lisbon treaty and the European Union. He said, "If they kick me out I will understand. I will be very sorry about it, but it won't alter my stance."[29] The following day, 29 March, he was expelled from the Conservative Party.[30]

The 2009 European elections resulted in UKIP coming second with 16.5% of the vote and 13 MEPs, an increase of one MEP and 0.3% in the share of the vote compared to the 2004 European Elections.[31]

Leadership election, 2009

Main article: United Kingdom Independence Party leadership election, 2009

In September 2009, Nigel Farage announced that he would be resigning as leader of the party in order to stand for Parliament against the Speaker, John Bercow.[32] The leadership election was contested by five candidates - Malcolm Pearson, Gerard Batten, Nikki Sinclaire, Mike Nattrass and Alan Wood - and was won by Malcolm Pearson with just under half of the 9900 votes cast [33]

2010 general election

Main article: United Kingdom Independence Party election results

UKIP fielded 572 candidates in the 2010 general election;.[34] Lord Pearson asked some prospective candidates to stand down in favour of Eurosceptic Conservative and Labour MPs. However, some refused to do so. This did not stop Lord Pearson from campaigning on behalf of the Conservative candidates stating that he was "putting country before party". These decisions drew some criticism from within the party from the likes of Michael Heaver of Young Independence.

On the morning of polling day, Farage was injured when a passenger in a light aircraft which crashed near Brackley, Northamptonshire.[35]

In the election the party polled 3.1% of the vote (919,471 votes), an increase of 0.9% on the 2005 general election, but took no seats.[36] This made it the party with the largest percentage of the popular vote to win no seats in the election.[37]

In Buckingham, the seat of the Speaker John Bercow, Farage obtained 17% of the vote, despite receiving some level of support from Lord Tebbit, a senior Conservatives figure.[38] Farage came third behind Bercow and John Stevens, the Buckinghamshire Campaign For Democracy candidate,[39] a Europhile and former Conservative MEP.[40] UKIP was also third in three other constituencies: North Cornwall, North Devon and Torridge and West Devon.[41] Farage's result was the best of all UKIP candidates that the party put forward in the 2010 general election.[42]

Leadership election, 2010

Main article: United Kingdom Independence Party leadership election, 2010

Lord Pearson resigned as leader in August 2010.[43] The subsequent leadership election was contested between Nigel Farage, Tim Congdon, David Bannerman and Winston McKenzie and won by Farage with more than 60% of the vote.[44] During his acceptance speech, Farage spoke out against the leadership of the Conservative Party, and Conservative policy on Europe.[45] Lord Pearson, the previous leader, welcomed Farage's re-election, and said "The UKIP crown returns to its rightful owner."[46]

Since the 2010 general election

UKIP contested two by-elections in early 2011, with candidate Jane Collins coming second in Barnsley Central with 12.2% of the vote[47] and Paul Nuttall finishing fourth in Oldham East and Saddleworth with 5.8% of the vote.[48] Farage welcomed Collins's success and said that UKIP should now aim to replace the Liberal Democrats as the third largest party, claiming "The Lib Dems are no longer the voice of opposition in British politics – we are. Between now and the next general election our aim is to replace them as the third party in British politics."[49]

UKIP fielded 1,217 candidates for the 2011 local council elections, a major increase over its previous campaigns, but not enough to qualify for a party election broadcast on television. [50] UKIP said that the party was well-organised in the South East, South West and Eastern regions, but there were still places across the country where there were no UKIP candidates standing at all.[51]

Across the country, many UKIP candidates came second or third. UKIP in Newcastle-under-Lyme gained a total of five seats on Newcastle Borough Council in 2007 and 2008 and three seats on Staffordshire County Council in 2009. Although UKIP did not poll well, it made gains across many parts of England, as well as taking control of Ramsey town council with nine UKIP councillors out of 17. Whilst UKIP made gains and losses, the party fell short of Farage's predictions of major gains. The UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen called for Farage's resignation as leader of the party.[52]

In October 2012, David McNarry, a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly who had been elected as an Ulster Unionist, joined UKIP after being expelled from the Ulster Unionist, becoming UKIPs second representative in Northern Ireland alongside Henry Reilly, a councillor in Newry and Mourne.[53]

On 29 November 2012, UKIP finished in second place in the 2012 Rotherham by-election, with 4,648 votes (21.7% of the votes cast). This was the highest percentage share recorded by UKIP in any parliamentary election (although it had polled a greater number of votes in both the 2012 Corby by-election and in Buckingham in the 2010 general election, where its candidate was Nigel Farage).[54][55] Its candidate, Jane Collins, had previously been the only UKIP candidate to come second in any UK parliamentary election at Barnsley Central in 2011. UKIP also came second in 2012 in the Middlesbrough by-election and third in the Croydon North by-election, which were held on the same day as Rotherham.

During 2012 and early 2013, UKIP's popularity in opinion polls increased, with many polls indicating that it had overtaken the Liberal Democrats for third place.[56]

During the Eastleigh by-election on 28 February 2013, the party's candidate Diane James polled the highest percentage (27.8%) and number of votes (11,571) ever for a UKIP parliamentary candidate. UKIP came second, 4.26% (1,771 votes) behind the Liberal Democrats who retained the seat. The Conservatives were pushed into third place with a quarter of the vote and the Labour Party into fourth place with less than 10% of the vote.

In the run-up to the 2013 local elections, UKIP continued to do well in opinion polls and put up a record number of candidates for the party,[57] despite a number of controversies over individual candidates in the weeks before the elections[58][59][60] with the BBC reporting that UKIP was investigating "six candidates over links to the BNP and other far right groups or alleged racist and homophobic comments, following stories in national and local newspapers."[57] Several candidates were suspended from the party for racist views.[61] UKIP accused the Conservative Party's Central Office of trawling through candidates' online presences to "smear" the party, but acknowledged that it did not have the time or money to vet all of its candidates.[57]

In the 2013 county council elections across England, the party achieved its best ever local government result, polling an average of 23% in the wards it stood and returning 147 elected councillors.[14] It made significant gains in Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Kent taking 15, 16 and 17 seats respectively.[62] It was described as the best result for a party outside the big three in British politics since the Second World War.[12] A Guardian/ICM poll in the week after these elections placed UKIP third in national polls, with nationwide support of 18%. However, analysis suggests that in one considered scenario this level of support will not be enough to win any seats at the next general election, and UKIP "face an uphill struggle to secure more than a handful of MPs".[63] By 11 June 2013 UKIP had dropped 6 points in the Guardian/ICM poll, to join the Liberal Democrats on 12%.[64] However by 16 June Comres had UKIP support at 19% [65] and Observer/Opinium at 20%.[66]

Though winning councillors and gaining impressive vote shares in by-elections in England, UKIP has not been able to make any similar advance in Scotland, a trend that was confirmed in the Aberdeen Donside by-election on 20 June 2013, where the UKIP candidate came 5th, losing his deposit with just 4.8% of the vote.[67]

In September 2013 Mike Nattrass resigned, describing Farage's leadership of the party as "totalitarian", following his earlier deselection.[68] He was the fourth UKIP MEP elected in 2009 to leave the party. During the party's conference in 2013 the whip was suspended from Godfrey Bloom, after he was reported to have made sexist comments.[69]


UKIP Northern Ireland

UKIP's membership in Northern Ireland was 247 in June 2013.[70] The party's only representative to be elected under the UKIP label in Northern Ireland, the Kilkeel councillor Henry Reilly, is the party's Northern Ireland chairman. Alan Love is its vice-chairman, Barbara Trotter is secretary and Alan Lewis is treasurer.

The party is registered as unionist in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Paul Nuttall, MEP for North West England and UKIP's deputy leader, has called for a UKIP-Traditional Unionist Voice electoral pact for the 2014 European Parliament election.[71]

UKIP Gibraltar

UKIP Gibraltar is a branch of UKIP in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It held its first public meeting at the Lord Nelson on 25 April 2013.[72] The UKIP leader Nigel Farage claims that Gibraltar, along with all other British Overseas Territories, should have representatives in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, similar to the privileges given to French overseas territories in France. Farage asserts that all Britons for whom the British Parliament passes legislation, whether in the United Kingdom or its territories, deserve democratic representation in that Parliament.[73]


Although UKIP's original raison d'être was withdrawal from the European Union,[74] it was felt that the public perception of the party as a single-issue party – despite issuing a full manifesto – was damaging electoral progress.[75] Farage, on becoming leader, started a wide-ranging policy review, his stated aim being "the development of the party into broadly standing for traditional conservative and libertarian values".[76] Despite this review, an editorial in The Guardian newspaper in 2012 describes UKIP's real importance to UK politics being its presence as "a permanent single-issue temptation for anti-EU Tories".[77]

Taxation and economy

UKIP proposes cuts in corporation taxes and the abolition of inheritance taxes.[78] The abolition of inheritance tax would cost about £3bn a year.[79] A flat rate of tax and the abolition of national insurance are advocated, which UKIP claims will simplify the tax system, although it is currently unclear what this flat tax rate would be set at.[80] UKIP proposes "tens of billions" of cuts to taxation, along with a further £77bn of cuts to the public sector in order to reduce the deficit.[80] The economic plans outlined by UKIP have been called into question by The Times, who have highlighted a “£120 billion black hole” in their spending plans.[81]


According to the party website, UKIP proposes directing the majority of health care spending to elected County Health Boards, making spending decisions directly accountable to the public locally;[82][83] as well as dramatically cutting the Department of Health and bringing in professional procurement skills to reduce what UKIP claims are the huge amounts of money wasted in procurement and resource allocation.[82] In addition, UKIP proposes introducing a voucher system that will enable people to receive treatment outside of the NHS, replace non-clinical managers with matrons to run NHS hospitals and introduce free dental and eye checks.[84]

European Union

UKIP advocates leaving the European Union, resulting in stopping payments to the EU and withdrawal from EU treaties, while maintaining trading ties with other European countries.[80] Nigel Farage claims Britain can get a "simple free trade agreement",[85] and says that Britain can negotiate its own free trade agreements around the world without participation in EU trade agreements. For example, UKIP suggests that Britain can create a Commonwealth Free Trade Area.[86]

In its 2010 general election manifesto, UKIP stated that leaving the EU would allow Britain to "regain three essential Freedoms" and asserted a belief in civic nationalism, which it claims "is open and inclusive to anyone who wishes to identify with Britain, regardless of ethnic or religious background" while contrasting that with what it described as the "blood and soil" nationalism of extremist parties.[87]

European Court of Human Rights/Council of Europe

UKIP wants to repeal the Human Rights Act and thereby remove Britain from the European Court of Human Rights.

In addition, a withdrawal from both the European Convention on Refugees and the European Convention on Human Rights is advocated by UKIP,[88] to "enable us to deport foreign criminal and terrorist suspects where desirable" while still "allow[ing] genuine asylum applications in accordance with our international obligations".[89]


UKIP's policies on immigration are currently under review[90] after receiving criticism for not having "clear-cut" immigration policies.[91] The party has previously outlined a number of measures designed to reduce immigration into the UK [89][90] which include a five-year "freeze" on immigration for permanent settlement, the introduction of a points-based work-permit system and initiating a drive to remove illegal immigrants. In addition, UKIP proposes to allow EU citizens who have been domiciled in the UK for seven years to apply for citizenship.[89][90]

Same-sex marriage

In November 2012, David Coburn of UKIP's National Executive Committee stated the party's policy on same-sex marriage: the party supports civil partnerships but opposes legalisation of same-sex marriage because of concerns that a law change could mean that faith groups and places of worship would be forced to perform same-sex marriages.[3][92]

Energy, environment and climate change

UKIP are sceptical of man-made climate change and oppose the creation of wind farms and investment in other renewable energy sources.[3] In 2010, UKIP stated that they would seek to have a Royal Commission investigate whether or not climate change is man-made, to scrap wind farm subsidies, ban the showing of the global warming film An Inconvenient Truth in schools, and ban use of public money by local authorities on climate change-related efforts.[93] UKIP's 2013 energy policy document states that global warming is part of a natural cycle: "the slight warming in the last hundred years is entirely consistent with well-established, long-term natural climate cycles".[94]

On Any Questions, Nigel Farage described plans to increase the use of wind energy as "loopy" and said it would lead to Britain being covered "in ugly disgusting ghastly windmills" that would not satisfactorily provide for Britain's energy needs.[94]

UKIP politician Christopher Monckton said that the intention of a proposed United Nations climate treaty was to "impose a communist world government",[94] and stated that UKIP was the only option for those who disbelieve in climate change as "all the major parties have decided to sign up to the eco-fascist agenda".[93]

Party leadership

List of Leaders of the party

Leader Tenure Related note(s)
Alan Sked1 1993–1997
Craig Mackinlay1 1997 Acting leader
Michael Holmes, MEP1 1997–2000 MEP from 1999–2004
Jeffrey Titford, MEP 2000–2002 MEP from 1999–2009
Roger Knapman, MEP 2002–2006 MEP from 2004–2009
Nigel Farage, MEP 2006–2009 MEP from 1999
The Lord Pearson of Rannoch 2009–2010
Jeffrey Titford 2010 Acting leader
Nigel Farage, MEP 2010–present

1 Subsequently left the party.

Deputy Leader

UKIP Scotland Leader

National Executive Committee

  • Executive chairman: Steve Crowther

Ex-officio members[95]

  • Party Chief Executive: Will Gilpin
  • Party director: Lisa Duffy, Mayor of Ramsey
  • Party treasurer: Stuart Wheeler
  • Party secretary: Michael Greaves
  • General secretary: Jonathan Arnott
  • Party Nominating Officer: Peter Reeve

Committee Members[96]

UKIP's NEC 2012 election results:

  • UKIP National Executive Committee election results


Devolved Seats
London Assembly Template:Infobox political party/seats
Scottish Parliament Template:Infobox political party/seats
Welsh Assembly Template:Infobox political party/seats
Northern Ireland Assembly Template:Infobox political party/seats

House of Commons

UKIP has never had an MP elected to the House of Commons, although the party briefly had representation when Dr Bob Spink, the MP for Castle Point, defected from the Conservative Party to UKIP on 21 April 2008, before leaving UKIP in November 2008 following disagreements with the party on several issues.

House of Lords

On 24 June 1995, UKIP gained its first member of the House of Lords in the form of Lord Grantley, who had joined the party in 1993 from the Conservatives and had recently succeeded to his father's titles. However, with the coming House of Lords Act 1999, he decided not to stand for election as a continuing member, and so left the House in November 1999. The Lord Pearson of Rannoch and Lord Willoughby de Broke both defected to UKIP on 7 January 2007, giving the party its first representation in the House of Lords since Lord Grantley's departure.[97] The Lord Pearson of Rannoch went on to serve as party leader from November 2009 to September 2010. On 18 September 2012, The Lord Stevens of Ludgate joined UKIP, having sat as an Independent Conservative since his expulsion from the Conservatives in 2004.[98]

Northern Ireland Assembly

On 4 October 2012 UKIP gained its first representation in the Northern Ireland Assembly following the defection of David McNarry MLA for Strangford, who had been sitting as an independent, following his suspension from the Ulster Unionist Party.[10][11][99]

Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament

UKIP do not currently have any representatives in the other devolved nations of Scotland or Wales. UKIP fielded candidates at the Scottish Parliament election on 5 May 2011, when its platform included a commitment to keep the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, while replacing the separately-elected Members of the Scottish Parliament with the Members of the House of Commons elected in Scotland.[100] The party also fielded candidates for the Welsh Assembly.[101]

European Parliament

In 1999, three UKIP members were elected to the European Parliament. Together with Eurosceptics from other countries, they formed a grouping called Europe of Democracies and Diversities (EDD).

In 2004, 37 MEPs from the UK, Poland, Denmark and Sweden founded a new European Parliamentary group called Independence and Democracy (ID) from the old EDD group. However, following the European Parliament election, 2009, where Eurosceptic parties from Denmark, Sweden and elsewhere lost all representation, the ID group was dissolved.

UKIP has since formed a new right-wing grouping called Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) comprising nationalist, Eurosceptic, conservative and other political factions. This group is more right wing than the older Independence and Democracy grouping.[102]

Current Members of the European Parliament

UKIP has 9 Members in the European Parliament. Trevor Colman has left the EFD grouping but still stands for UKIP.[103] Roger Helmer was elected as a Conservative MEP but defected to UKIP in March 2012.

Constituency MEP(s)
East Midlands Derek Clark, Roger Helmer
East of England Stuart Agnew
London Gerard Batten
North West England Paul Nuttall
South East England Nigel Farage
South West England Trevor Colman, Earl of Dartmouth
Wales John Bufton

Local government

The first UKIP local council election win occurred when one of their members was elected to South Cambridgeshire District Council in 2000. A number of Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Labour and Independent local councillors in all four constituent nations of the UK have defected to UKIP over subsequent years, with the most recent defections to date (May to July 2013) coming from former Conservative councillors in the London Boroughs of Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Havering, and from Labour in Northampton and North-East Lincolnshire. In the May 2012 local elections, UKIP won a total of 7 seats in England out of 2,414 (no change on the previous year),[104] 2 seats in Wales out of 1,223 (up 1)[105] and no seats in Scotland out of 1,220 (down 1).[106] It failed to win any seats in the London Assembly, coming fifth overall with 4.5% of the vote. In November that year, it failed to win any contests in the England and Wales Police and Crime Commissioner elections. In May 2013, 33 English and one Welsh council held local elections, with UKIP gaining 139 seats for a total of 147, with significant gains in Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Kent.[107]

On 6 May 2011, the party won nine of the seventeen seats for Ramsey Town Council in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Before the election, the party had only one seat in the town council. On 12 May, UKIP councillor Lisa Duffy was elected as Mayor. The UKIP group leader for Huntingdonshire District Council said that the town council under UKIP would "be standing up for volunteers and the third sector and will be making grants to them to help the big society develop." The Daily Mail claimed that UKIP "has made political history after taking control of its first council in the UK".[108][dated info]



UKIP MEP Nikki Sinclaire was expelled from UKIP after resigning from the EFD grouping, citing her displeasure at what she perceived to be racist and extremist parties that belong to the EFD Group. Sinclaire also cited the deterioration of her relationship with Farage, the co-leader of the EFD group.[109] Sinclaire was subsequently expelled from UKIP for refusing to be part of the EFD group.[109] She later won a sex discrimination claim against her former colleagues, to which UKIP did not lodge a defence, and the ruling went against the party by default.[110]

In February 2013 Marta Andreasen defected from UKIP to the Conservative Party. Two weeks prior to her defection Andreasen had accused Farage of bullying and being "anti-women" and "a Stalinist".[111] She was UKIP's sole remaining female MEP after the 2009 expulsion of Nikki Sinclaire.[111] Andreasen also told the BBC on 6 February 2013 'that Mr Farage did not want "intelligent, professional" women in key positions in the party'.[111]

Godfrey Bloom whilst sitting as an UKIP MEP made several statements that many perceive to be sexist. A few weeks after being appointed to the European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality on 20 July 2004, Bloom told an interviewer that, "no self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age."[112] After inviting students from the University of Cambridge Women's Rugby Club to Brussels in 2004, Bloom was accused of sexual assault, making "sexist and misogynistic remarks" and using offensive language during a dinner party. One student handed a formal letter of protest to the President of the European Parliament, heavily criticising Bloom's behaviour. Bloom who sponsored the club with £3,000 a year, admitted making misogynist comments but denied sexual harassment.[113][114]

On 20 September 2013, UKIP withdrew the party whip from Bloom after he assaulted journalist Michael Crick in the street, threatened a second reporter, and at the party's conference jokingly referred to his female audience as sluts.[115]

Notable defections

David Campbell Bannerman, defected to the Tories on 24 May 2011.'He said he had been "impressed" by David Cameron's leadership while UKIP was beset by "internal fighting" and was not a "credible" political force'.."[116]

On 12 October 2011 Roger Helmer announced that he would resign from the European Parliament at the end of the year, citing "increasing disillusion with the attitudes of the Conservative Party" as the main reason, although admitting that his "twelve-and-a-half years banging my head against the same brick wall in Brussels is perhaps long enough".[117] It was announced on 2 March 2012 that he had defected from the Conservatives to the United Kingdom Independence Party.[118]

Marta Andreasen defected from UKIP to the Conservative Party in February, 2013 describing leader Nigel Farage as "a Stalinist" who was "anti-women".[119] Previously Andreasen has called for current UKIP leader Nigel Farage to resign over poor local election results in May 2011.[120]

Mike Nattrass failed a candidate assessment test in August 2013 and was deselected by the party for the 2014 European election.[121] He took the party to court over the decision, but lost. In September 2013 Nattrass resigned becoming an Independent MEP in the process describing Farage's leadership of the party as "totalitarian", following his earlier deselection.[68]

Godfrey Bloom resigned his party whip from UKIP on 24 September 2013 and sits as an independent MEP, but remains a member of UKIP.[122]

Voter base

In 2011, the British academics Matthew Goodwin, Robert Ford and David Cutts published a study that identified Euroscepticism as the main causal factor for voters supporting UKIP, with concern over immigration levels and distrust of the political establishment also featuring as important motives. The average UKIP voter was 55 years old, which is older than voters in others parties. There was no correlation between social class and likelihood of voting UKIP, although UKIP voters tended to feel more financially insecure than the average voter. The skilled working class were found to be slightly overrepresented amongst UKIP voters, and there was a higher likelihood that a UKIP voter had grown up in a conservative supporting household compared to the average voter.[123]

In the same year, a study by Richard Whitaker and Philip Lynch of the University of Leicester based on polling data from YouGov concluded that "the balance of attitudinal explanations of UKIP support makes its voters distinct from those voting for far right parties". The authors found that voter support for UKIP correlated with concerns about the value of immigration, hostility to immigrants and a lack of trust in the political system but the biggest explanatory factor for their support of UKIP was Euroscepticism.[124] A further study by the same authors suggests that UKIP voters' core beliefs align very closely to those of the UKIP candidates; particularly so on issues surrounding European integration, which has resulted in Conservative voters switching to UKIP due to divisions within the Conservatives over this issue.[125]

In May 2013, Stephan Shakespeare, the CEO of YouGov analysed the reasons for the strong support and performance of UKIP in the 2013 local elections. He observed that voter research showed UKIP had "very loyal" followers, with a high proportion of ex-Conservative voters, and that the primary reason for support was a sense by voters that UKIP "seemed to be on the same wavelength" as the population, was perceived as "genuine" and "simply different", and by tapping into the "anti-politics mood" became contrasted strongly with "the others [who] haven't got a clue about the real world". He concluded that "you just don't get this [perception] with other party leaders, not even from their supporters". Noting also that 23% of voters reported giving "serious consideration" to voting UKIP, and that non-UKIP voters were "only half as likely to mention immigration or Europe" as existing UKIP voters, he also concluded that these potential voters were "best won" by providing a "broad agenda".[126]

Breakaway parties

  • Veritas - Latin for "truth" - was officially founded in a press conference on 2 February, during which Kilroy-Silk proclaimed "unlike the old parties, we shall be honest, open and straight", devoid of the other parties' "lies and spin". There were a number of defections from UKIP to the party. They included UKIP London Assembly member Damian Hockney, who became deputy leader.[127]
  • One London was a small British political party formed on 1 September 2005 by Damian Hockney and Peter Hulme-Cross. They were elected to the London Assembly in June 2004 as United Kingdom Independence Party representatives. One London became a registered party in November 2005 and de-registered in November 2008.[128]
  • New Deal, a party, which has been described as "a new left-of-centre anti–EU party which hopes to challenge Labour was founded in September 2013 by UKIP founder Alan Sked".[130]

See also


External links

  • UKIP in the European Parliament – UKIP MEPs' website

Template:Leaders of the United Kingdom Independence Party

Template:United Kingdom Alternative Vote referendum, 2011

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