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Title: The UK Independence Party: Understanding a Niche Party’s Strategy, Candidates and Supporters
Authors: Lynch, Philip
Whitaker, Richard C.
Loomes, Gemma
First Published: 9-Nov-2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press on behalf of the Hansard Society
Citation: Parliamentary Affairs, 2012, 65 (4), pp. 733-757
Abstract: The UK Independence Party (UKIP) came second in the 2009 European elections, but niche parties associated with a single issue face a dilemma about how to progress. On one hand, if they move too far beyond their core issue, they risk losing their distinctive position and support base. On the other, if they are to grow their representation, they need to develop a broader platform and this can provoke internal tensions. We assess the political attitudes and views on party strategy of UKIP candidates using surveys at the 2009 European and 2010 general election, and compare them with the views of UKIP supporters using opinion poll data. We demonstrate that UKIP’s candidates and supporters are closely aligned, with both groups being strongly Eurosceptic, favouring tighter immigration policies and distrusting the main parties. We also show that UKIP’s leadership and candidates wish to extend the party’s narrative, but differences remain over what issues it should focus on, as well as over competition with the Conservatives and UKIP’s role in the European Parliament.
DOI Link: 10.1093/pa/gsr042
ISSN: 0031-2290
eISSN: 1460-2482
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © The Authors 2011. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Description: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Parliamentary Affairs following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version [Parliamentary Affairs, 2013, 65 (4), pp. 733-757] is available online at:
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Politics and International Relations

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