Tag Archives: matthew goodwin

Ukip examined: who they are, what they stand for, and what it all means for British politics

revolt on the right ukipI’ve just finished reading Revolt on the Right, Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin’s fascinating book analysing the rise of Ukip and what makes the party and its voters tick. Mark Pack has already written a very good review for LibDemVoice here. Here’s my take on some of its key insights.

Who votes for Ukip? The ‘left behind’

For a start, it debunks the myth that Ukip is a party of disaffected, well-to-do, shire-Tories obsessed by Europe and upset by David Cameron’s mild social liberalism on same-sex marriage. Yes, there are some Ukip voters like that, but they tend to be its peripheral voters, the ones most likely to give the Tories a kick in the Euros next month then return to their traditional True Blue ways in time for the general election. Ukip’s core vote in reality is made up of what the authors define as ‘left behind’ voters, overwhelmingly comprising older white working class males with no formal educational qualifications.

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Book Review: Revolt on the Right by Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin

Farage ukip - Some rights reserved by Astral MediaOne of the political debates over UKIP is the question of whether it is primarily taking its support from disgruntled Conservatives or not.

Leading the charge for the ‘yes’ camp are several recent large-scale polls (or conglomeration of separate polls) from reputable polling companies. Looking at how people who currently say they’ll vote UKIP behaved in 2010, the pattern seems clear: UKIP’s growth in support predominantly comes from ex-Tories.

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Who joins the BNP and who votes BNP?

Matthew Goodwin’s new book, New British Fascism: Rise of the British National Party, expands on one of his previous works on political extremism to look in-depth at just the BNP.

New British Fascism: Rise of the British National Party has at its heart an extensive set of interviews with BNP members. His conclusion is a nuanced one – that the BNP has carved out a strong base in a narrow niche, meaning both that it is not likely to disappear any time soon nor is it likely to break through to major levels of support.

That base is made …

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Book review: The new extremism in 21st century Britain

The new extremism in 21st century Britain, edited by Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin considers both far-right and Islamic extremism, their causes and possible responses. It is unusual for a study to look at both these forms of extremism, and as the books editors explain that is not just a publishing phenomena; academics and experts predominantly focus on one or the other with as a result relatively little opportunity to learn from comparing and contrasting different extremist movements.

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