Can anyone suggest some reading on what is UKIP?

Questions I am looking for to answer:

  • is It real major third party for UK? Is it projected to raise further after last weekend elections?
  • any serious business supporting or warm to UKIP
  • could UKIP influence apparently grave situation with Scotland referendum?

2 Answers 2


Before I answer this I should state that I am not impartial, and am a Labour Party supporter, but having said that I will try to keep my opinions neutral for this.

At the moment in terms of where it sits in the UK, it has no members of Parliament (MPs) so has no national influence. It does have the UK's largest number of European Parliament MPs, but as its aim is to leave the European Union it does not participate fully in that body. It has also aligned itself with a right wing grouping which does not have enough combined votes to have much influence.

In the UK the current third party in the Liberal Democrats, who went into coalition with the Conservatives following the general election in 2010, it would appear that UKIP wish to emulate this, having decided to target just 20 seats in 2015.

This seems to be a bid to gain influence, and in some parts UKIP is seen as a potential right wing adjunct to the conservatives.

UKIP has had some image troubles, with little control over selection of local candidates, including some elected members expressing racist and homophobic views - which is illegal in the UK.

I personally think that the views and policies of UKIP are unpleasant at best, and inflammatory at times, however their leader comes across in the media as a down to earth person who you would chat to in a bar.

Polling indicates that they have some support but not at the moment enough to generate a massive change in the makeup of the political landscape of the UK. And their support seems to be dropping following the EU elections.

You asked about support from business. From smaller businesses possibly yes, there has been some talk, but not any real UKIP announcement, on relaxing employment legislation, making it easier to fire people, but on the whole larger nationals / regionals/ multinationals are unlikely to be supportive, as if we were to leave the EU then businesses and imports would suffer.

Ukip have a strong anti migrant rhetoric, and organisations have been active in countering its views. Such As this Tuc booklet.

As to the final question about Scottish independence. I don't think they have that much influence with just one EU MP, and the Scottish wing of UKIP not functioning.

  • Links I could not include in answer as I am a newbie to this bit of se <dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2692422/…> <tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/myths%20book%202014.pdf> <heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/…> Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 0:03
  • Well done mate. Great answer! I have added URL Formatting to your answer & someone else has already added the links from comments to your answer.
    – NSNoob
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 12:02
  • One thing that I noticed is that ministers of parliament is not equal to MP. A MP is simply a member of Parliament. And UKIP have one. Douglas Carswell is the first and only MP of UKIP in the Parliament. Which also shows real picture of "Popularity" of UKIP (But then again they argue that it's actually the election system thats broken and they actually received huge number of votes).
    – NSNoob
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 12:15
  • @NSNoob At the time this answer was written (July 2014) they had none -- Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless had not yet defected to them. And, as I type this, following Carswell leaving UKIP, they're back to 0 again (well, technically, everyone's at zero as I type this because Parliament has been dissolved and so no party has any MPs. But you get the point.)
    – owjburnham
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 14:36
  • @MartinJevon Regarding "some elected members expressing racist and homophobic views - which is illegal in the UK", my understanding is that expressing those views per se isn't illegal (although those/similar statements, in a certain context, might break laws around disorder or incitement). Your link mentions investigations around the statements, but those are internal party investigations -- the party can (and should!) throw people out for saying that kind of thing, but those are internal rules of the club, rather than laws having been broken.
    – owjburnham
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 18:02

UKIP is an anti-immigration, anti-EU party.

In the 2015 general election UKIP got the third largest vote share but only got a single seat in parliament. Their base is spread around the country so the first past the post system hurts them much harder than it hurts the likes of the SNP or the various Irish parties and since they had basically zero previous electoral record people who vote tactically would have been unlikely to vote for them. However they did get second place in a lot of constituencies.

The threat of UKIP splitting the tory vote led to the tories offering an EU exit refferendum as part of their 2015 election. David Cameron and co no doubt thought that this would let them put the EU-exit issue to bed. However the people voted (fairly narrowly) for exit and Cameron resigned.

Teresa May took over calling another general election in 2017. UKIP lost most of their votes (dropping from third to fifth in terms of total votes) and their only seat in this election, presumablly because the tories were positioning themselves as the pro-brexit party. The tories in turn gained votes but lost seats leading to an awkward "confidence and supply agreement" with the DUP.

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