Ukip and Veritas are not very pretty, but must not be lumped together with the BNPby Catherine Fieschi / March 17, 2005 / Leave a comment
Published in March 2005 issue of Prospect Magazine
As the election campaign gets under way, the extent of the potential support emerging for parties to the right of the Tories could become an important theme in some parts of the country. Despite the huge obstacle of Britain’s first past the post system, is it possible that a combination of BNP and Ukip voters could affect results in a significant number of seats and between them achieve a level of support approaching that of the French National Front—20 per cent plus of the total popular vote?
The cover of the New Statesman on 23rd January screamed: “One in five Britons could vote for the far right,” and the accompanying analysis suggested that some sort of breakthrough was possible. But this is mainly nonsense, depending as it does on an unjustified conflation of the two parties.
Finding a set of lowest common denominator similarities between the BNP and Ukip (and newborn Veritas) is not hard: they are anti-European, non-mainstream parties, their voters are closer to the Tory party than to Labour or the Lib Dems, and they are xenophobic and nationalist.