UKIP Candidates and Supporters article FINAL for LRA.pdf (481.59 kB)
Download file

The UK Independence Party: Understanding a Niche Party’s Strategy, Candidates and Supporters

Download (481.59 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 21.10.2013, 11:33 by Philip Lynch, Richard C. Whitaker, Gemma Loomes
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.



Parliamentary Affairs, 2012, 65 (4), pp. 733-757

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/Department of Politics and International Relations


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Parliamentary Affairs


Oxford University Press on behalf of the Hansard Society





Copyright date


Available date


Publisher version


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: