UKIP leader Nigel Farage is to take part in a debate with the authors of a controversial new book on UKIP on 31 March at Chatham House.
Revolt on the Right: Explaining Support for the Radical Right in Britain, by Dr Rob Ford from The University of Manchester and Dr Matthew Goodwin from The University of Nottingham, is based on analysis of over 100,000 voters and almost 6,000 UKIP supporters.
It finds that up to 30% of British voters are potentially receptive to UKIP, a party fuelled, they say, by a combination of Euroscepticism, hostility to immigration and intense dissatisfaction with the established political class.
The event falls between the two debates between Nigel Farage and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on the issue of Britain's membership of the EU.
Taking part are the study authors, Nigel Farage, and Joe Twyman, Director of Political Research at EMEA and YouGov. Sarah Montague, Presenter of BBC Radio Four’s Today Programme will chair the debate.
They will discuss public support for Euroscepticism and consider the broader impact of parties such as UKIP at the upcoming European Parliament elections in May.
They will also talk about who supports parties like UKIP, why, and what the emergence of these radical right parties tells us about broader changes in Western societies.
A film on the work of the authors is also being launched on You Tube to coincide with the debate, in conjunction with Feedback films, called investigating the UK Independence Party.
It features contributions from leading figures at Demos, The Conversation, British Future and The Daily Telegraph.
A second event called on UKIP's threat to Labour, featuring leading labour figures and political strategists will also take place in the afternoon of 21 March
Jacqui Smith, former Labour MP and former Home Secretary and John McTernan, who former head of communications to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard will be discussing the issues. McTernan is also a former senior adviser to Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman .
They will join Dr Rob Ford from The University of Manchester, Natascha Engel, Labour MP for North East Derbyshire and chair of the Backbench Business Committee and Sunder Katwala, director of British Future.
Co-author Dr Robert Ford said: “UKIP are currently winning over one voter in ten but their potential far exceeds their current support in the polls and the party have the potential to grow further. This revolt has been a long time coming, but may have a long way to run”.
“UKIP voters are deeply misunderstood: they are not middle-class, financially secure Tories from the Shires who care only about Europe and securing an EU referendum. UKIP’s core voters share an extremely clear profile.”
Co-author Dr Matthew Goodwin added: “UKIP are winning over the “Left Behind” groups in British society: old, working class, men, with very few educational qualifications. These are voters who hold a very different set of values to the professional, middle-class majority: they are far more nationalist, Eurosceptic, fiercely opposed to immigration and feel like they have no voice in politics. They look out at a country their neither recognize nor want to be a part of”.
Notes for editors
UKIP, the Radical Right and the European Parliament Elections takes place on Monday 31 March from 1 to 2pm at Chatham House, London. ‘UKIP's threat to Labour?’ also takes place on Monday 31 March from 5pm to 6.30pm at Policy Network, 11 Tufton Street, Westminster, SW1P 3QB . To attend the Policy Network event phone 0207 3402200 or Email email@example.com
Dr Matthew Goodwin is Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham, UK, and Associate Fellow at Chatham House. @GoodwinMJ. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07929 045857.
Dr Robert Ford is Lecturer in Politics, University of Manchester, @RobFordMancs , Tel: 07973 868 203, email@example.com or Mike Addelman, Press Officer, Faculty of Humanities, University of Manchester, 0161 275 0790, 07717 881567