UKIP's Farage is more 'mainstream Britain' than Cameron will ever be

If UKIP and Nigel Farage are extremists, then so is the majority of the British public. And I for one trust the people more than the Westminster establishment

by Michael Heaver on 26 November 2012 11:02

Here’s a bold statement: Farage is more mainstream Britain than Cameron will ever be.

Wait, how can that be? Surely the party that gets the most votes is the most mainstream?

Well actually, no. UKIP is a unique beast in British politics. Having been founded less than 20 years ago, not as a splinter group ran by ex-MPs but by a collection of bog-standard activists, it has taken a while for many to have even become aware of the party, let alone informed as to what it stands for. But it’s 2012 and things are a lot different now.

Nigel Farage and UKIP are names in the political sphere that are well known – and becoming more and more popular. Despite minimal media coverage and sparse financial resources compared even to the Liberal Democrats, the party is fast on the rise, regularly polling 10 – 12 percent. This is unprecedented for a party that has grown steadily and utterly organically.

Recent days have seen the likes of Michael Gove defend UKIP as “a mainstream political party” after politically correct morons at Rotherham Council barred a couple from fostering kids due to their membership.

Gove is right: Farage and UKIP are now mainstream. In fact, their policies are far more mainstream and on the hallowed grounds of the “centre ground” of British politics than Cameron, Miliband or anyone else. Don’t believe me?

Well how about this poll that shows that just 22 percent of people think that no new grammar schools should be built, with 54 percent supporting more? Farage stands for the 54 percent whilst Cameron and Miliband represent the fringe opinion of just a fifth of people.

Far from being on the mainstream of just Tory thought however, Farage equally stands for mainstream Labour mentality. 78 percent of Labour voters want a drastic cut in immigration levels. Miliband would like to sell himself as moderate but the numbers show that his support of open borders along with the Tories is out of step, not Farage’s call to end unlimited immigration from Eastern Europe.

And then of course there is the big one; where mainstream Britain has really shifted and what it is talking about so much right now: EU withdrawal. No ifs, no buts, time to go. Renegotiation? Not interested. 55 percent of Brits in a BBC-commissioned poll agree with Nigel Farage that the UK should leave the EU and maintain a trade relationship only. He again represents mainstream Britain whilst the Tories and Labour represent the shrinking minority who wish to stay in.

Of course UKIP doesn’t get 55 percent of the vote for a variety of reasons: media coverage, local activism levels, financial resources, and traditional bloc voting for blue or red that is ingrained for many are still all big constraints.

The point is however that the next time we talk about extremism, let’s remember where the British public’s thoughts are on the issue: far more on the side of Farage than with Miliband or Cameron. The numbers back that up on issue after issue.

If UKIP and Nigel Farage are extremists, then so is the majority of the British public. And I for one trust the people more than the Westminster establishment.

Twitter: @Michael_Heaver

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