What kind of party is UKIP? The future of the extreme right in Britain or just another Tory party?

Widfeldt, Anders and Brandenburg, Heinz (2018) What kind of party is UKIP? The future of the extreme right in Britain or just another Tory party? Political Studies, 66 (3). pp. 577-600. ISSN 0032-3217

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    Abstract

    This article aims to further our understanding of the nature of UKIP. Our approach differs from much of the existing literature on party families, by analysing public attitudes towards UKIP in comparison with other parties. Multidimensional unfolding is utilised to map UKIP’s place in the British party system, Tobit regressions are employed to compare UKIP’s support base with that of the BNP and the Conservatives and, finally, latent class analysis is used to assess the heterogeneity in UKIP’s support base. The conclusion is that, with increasing success, UKIP has establishing 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 UKIP distinctive from other British parties, and has parallels with the positions of anti-establishment, EU sceptical and immi-gration-critical parties elsewhere in Europe.