This morning Douglass Carswell became the first UKIP MP, winning 21,113 votes (59.66%) in the Clacton by-election. Whilst I’ve spent all morning banging my head on my desk and shouting angrily at the sky in a state of incredulity, others have been providing interesting analysis of what’s going on in British politics.
Dr Matthew Goodwin and Dr Robert Ford are the authors of Revolt on the Right, and their most recent book essentially asks ‘how is UKIP even a thing?! Like seriously, WTF?!’
Obviously the questions are worded a bit differently, and it turns out the answer isn’t, like I thought at first, ‘because people are idiots’. It’s way more complex than that.
Taking to Twitter they’ve outlined 5 key trends that explain the rise of UKIP.
1) The working class are dissatisfied with the traditional parties.
2) People who leave school at or before 16 and people over 65 are shifting to UKIP.
3) David Cameron is pretty unpopular.
4) Pretty much everyone feels abandoned by the government.
5) People are eurosceptic, anti-migration, and pessimistic.