United Kingdom Independence Party
| A guide to|
|God Save the Queen?|
The United Kingdom Independence Party (usually shortened to UKIP or Ukip, commonly pronounced "YOU-kip"; the members may be kippers) is a far-right hard-Eurosceptic UK political party. Founded in 1993, the party originated as a center-right single issue party to get UK to leave EU; by the mid-late 2000s the party had become right-wing populist under the leadership of Nigel Farage, which gradually saw the party rise in opinion polls and win the 2014 UK European Parliament election, with 27% of the overall vote and 24 MEPs. Arguably the sharp increase in support for UKIP caused the Brexit referendum of June 2016, however after UKIP achieved its raison d'être for Britain to leave the EU, the party post-referendum has massively declined in its voter-base and membership, while also loosing most of its MEPs via resignations and defections. In 2017, UKIP began flirting with Islamophobia for the first time in their policies and under the leadership of Gerrard Batten (April 2018 - present) UKIP is now widely perceived as a far-right anti-Islam party with Batten having made ex-EDL leader Tommy Robinson his advisor. Batten's anti-Muslim views and association with extremists, led to Nigel Farage and several other MEPs leaving UKIP to join the Brexit Party in February 2019. Ironically the founder of the latter, Catherine Blaiklock, is an Islamophobe, who has posted many inflammatory comments about Muslims online and made controversial statements about race.
Under Farage (2006-2009, 2011-2016), political scientists considered UKIP to be a right-wing populist party. While often using anti-immigration rhetoric, with Farage becoming the main face of UKIP and spearheading its anti-multiculturalism and anti-political-correctness brand of populism - Farage's UKIP wasn't labelled far-right or fascist, but "polite xenophobes" and Farage "trod a mostly careful line between dog-whistle politics and demonstrable racism". In contrast, UKIP under Batten is now thought to be "radical right" or "far-right" similar to the National Rally in France and the Alternative für Deutschland in Germany; Batten has also controversially aligned UKIP with the former in the EU Parliament by joining Marine Le Pen's ENF group.
Despite doing well in European Parliamentary elections, UKIP has always struggled to win seats in General elections in UK because of the first past the post (FPTP) electoral system as well as the fact in the mid-late 2000s they were in competition with the British National Party for anti-immigration voters; in 2008 Farage rejected a UKIP-BNP electoral pact. By 2012, the BNP had collapsed electorally, and UKIP clearly benefited. Under Farage, UKIP at its height in 2014-2016 reached on average around 15% in national opinion polls, but only ever won a single parliamentary seat in the 2015 General election, although secured nearly 4 million votes (13% of overall vote). Had the electoral system been proportional representation, UKIP would have won at least 80 seats. Post-referendum, UKIP declined in opinion polls to about 5%, but briefly managed in July 2018 to recover to 8-10%, as a consequence of a backlash to Theresa May's Chequers plan. This recovery however was short-lived and UKIP are polling on average again only 5% because the far-right direction of the party under Batten has alienated many Eurosceptic voters who don't feel comfortable with UKIP's Muslim-bashing.
After Farage stepped down as leader immediately after the Brexit referendum, UKIP struggled to find a serious successor; Putin-admirer Diane James won the 2016 leadership election, but only lasted 18 days and shortly afterwards quit the party. Paul Nuttall became leader in November 2016 and resigned in June 2017. He was replaced by Henry Bolton, but party members voted Bolton out of this position in February 2018, replaced by Gerard Batten in April.
- 1 History
- 2 Seats
- 3 Policies
- 4 Notable political activity
- 5 Other criticism
- 6 Trivia
- 7 External links
- 8 References
Alan Sked, Anti-Federalist League
UKIP was founded in 1993 by Dr Alan Sked, a historian and lecturer at the London School of Economics; it has its origins two years earlier with the Anti-Federalist League, a small pressure-group, that was formed to campaign against the Maastricht Treaty when the European Economic Community became the European Union. Sked had apparently become a Eurosceptic after teaching the European Studies programme at LSE in the early 1990s and discovering the EU is undemocratic and bureaucratic. On 3 September 1993, the Anti-Federalist League changed its name to the United Kingdom Independence Party. In the early years of its existence, UKIP lost potential voters to the rival Referendum Party, but by November 1997, the latter ceased to exist and UKIP increased its donors, voter-base and membership (160 members joined from the Referendum Party), although it never came close to winning a UK parliamentary seat it contested for example in the 1997 Winchester by-election the UKIP candidate polled only 521 votes (1%), a typical low result at the time.
1999 European election success, infighting
Sked wanted UKIP to remain a centre-right single issue party campaigning for UK to leave the EU, while Nigel Farage wanted to shift UKIP into a right-wing populist direction and focus on lowering immigration; Sked has described Farage as being "obsessed with immigration" and he quit the party in protest, warning UKIP had been infiltrated by racists as extreme as the BNP. Farage was criticized by the media for being spotted dining with two senior BNP party officials, yet denied any wrongdoing, claiming he didn't know their party affiliation.Do You Believe That? In 1999, UKIP had their first success in the UK European Parliament election which introduced proportional representation, winning three seats with 696,057 votes (7%) including Farage getting elected as an MEP. However, soon after that triumph, the UKIP national executive passed a motion of no confidence in its leader, Michael Holmes who quit the party in 2000. Furthermore, UKIP's success in the 1999 European election, didn't mirror in the 2001 UK General election when they contested 438 parliamentary seats, but won none and scored a mere 2% of the overall vote, coming fifth behind the SNP; the party also had little interest contesting local council seats. Farage later realised this was a mistake and "UKIP's Achilles' heel had been a reluctance to engage in locally focused pavement politics" that could build up a base of support in other elections.
2005 General Election, Veritas
UKIP increased their seats and vote share percentage (16%) in the 2004 UK European parliament election, beating the Liberal Democrats into third place with 12 MEPs, including Farage being re-elected. This was achieved after Farage exploited fears about uncontrolled immigration from the EU; UKIP began for the first time campaigning to reduce immigration by distributing xenophobic leaflets that led them to be called "BNP in blazers", i.e. "Under the headline 'Immigration soaring' , a cartoon depicts 'overcrowded Britain', a shanty-town jumble of houses: across the sea, streams of eastern European immigrants pour into an entrance labelled 'Channel Funnel'." UKIP also benefited since the 2004 London Assembly election and local elections were held on the same day, winning two seats on the London Assembly and their first local council seat in Derby. However, one London Assembly member defected to the Veritas party in February 2005, that split from UKIP. Led by former UKIP MEP Robert Kilroy-Silk, Veritas was founded on an "[anti]-immigration ticket" and shared Farage's right-wing populism; at this time Farage had not taken control of UKIP to fully radicalise the party, and Roger Knapman was leader. Knapman was disliked by many in UKIP for being regarded as a "mainstream" politician and refusing to contest parliamentary seats where there were Conservative Eurosceptic candidates, hence the party continued to be seen as too single-issue. After Kilroy-Silk's defection, UKIP's membership declined and it had to face competing against Veritas in the 2005 General election. Both focused on trying to win over anti-immigration voters, but suffered from the rise of the British National Party who were performing much better than UKIP/Veritas in local council elections and parliamentary by-elections. In the 2005 General election, while fielding fewer candidates than UKIP, but more than Veritas, the BNP did better than both (in terms of vote %) in seats they contested. This is despite the fact Kilroy-Silk's immigration policy for Veritas was almost as extreme as the BNP's e.g. "immigrants must speak English, pass health tests, have no criminal convictions and integrate into the British way of life"; a 3-year moratorium (temporary ban) on immigration, while deporting all illegal immigrants.
Competing with the BNP
Neither UKIP, BNP nor Veritas won a parliamentary seat in 2005, but BNP continued to perform well in local elections and won 33 councillors in 2006. When Farage was elected leader of UKIP in September 2006 he began to change the electoral strategy of the party to focus on local electioneering and made UKIP into an anti-immigration populist competitor of the BNP. UKIP no longer had to complete with Veritas since Kilroy-Silk resigned in July 2005 and the party ceased contesting elections soon after; most its members rejoined UKIP. In the 2007 local elections Farage fielded over a thousand candidates with the purpose of trying to shred UKIP's single-issue image. However, to Farage's frustration, UKIP failed to win a single councillor. UKIP only held a handful of council seats, mostly by defections from the Conservative Party; in contrast the BNP in 2007 had 50 councillors, including 12 on Barking and Dagenham council. The BNP also easily won more votes than UKIP in parliamentary by-elections e.g. in the 2007 Sedgefield by-election the BNP candidate received 2,494 (9%), UKIP, only 536 (2%). In 2008 some UKIP and BNP members proposed an electoral pact to avoid splitting the anti-immigration vote, but this was refused by Farage.
UKIP gained its first ever MP by defection, when Bob Spink in April 2008 resigned from the Conservative Party. It also had gained two ex-Conservatives in the House of Lords, Lord Pearson of Rannoch and Lord Willoughby de Broke, who both defected to UKIP. Farage however wished to attract more than just ex-Tory's to UKIP, and changed the party's electoral strategy to try to win over disaffected working-class voters by its populist messages on immigration. Both UKIP and BNP were targeting this same demographic, yet BNP continued to perform better in the 2008 and 2009 local elections than UKIP, despite UKIP making small gains. The BNP also did considerably better than UKIP in the 2008 London Assembly election. Farage temporarily stepped down as leader before the 2010 General election; UKIP under Lord Pearson fielded 558 candidates, while the BNP, 338. In most of the seats contested by both party's, BNP won more votes than UKIP; neither though won a single seat and lost over £100,000 in deposits. BNP lost all their local councillors in Barking.
By 2011, it was clear UKIP was replacing the BNP and picking up wide support from voters who are hostile to immigration but thought UKIP was as a "polite alternative" to the far-right British National Party. In the 2011 local elections, while UKIP won only a few council seats, they "chalked up over a hundred second placed showings and established themselves as the main opposition" in many local councils across England; they also took control of Ramsey Town council which is a lower-tier Parish. Despite Nick Griffin modernising the BNP and cosmetically distancing it from its fascist past, it was always overtly racist and UKIP benefited from the fact BNP massively declined in number of local candidates it fielded. UKIP could also succeed where the BNP failed because "it's not tainted by a violent, fascist past". Farage has said UKIP tried to "thrash the BNP" electorally at the 2011 by-election in Oldham East and Saddleworth, when UKIP polled 2,029 votes (6%) and the BNP, 1,560 (5%) after both parties were campaigning to heavily restrict immigration:
“”What we did, starting with the Oldham by-election in the North of England is for the first time ever try to deal with the BNP question by going out and saying to BNP voters, if you are voting BNP because you are frustrated, upset with the change in your community, but you are doing it holding your nose because you don't agree with their racist agenda, come and vote for us. I would think that we have probably taken a third of the BNP vote directly from them.
In the 2012 local elections, UKIP made a modest net gain of seven councillors, increasing their overall vote share in contested seats to a record 13% and scored significantly higher than the BNP, whose overall vote had declined. By 2013 the BNP had totally collapsed loosing all but two of their councillors, with Farage claiming he was "proud to have taken a third of the BNP's support" and that UKIP targeted BNP voters who were "frustrated" with immigration, but who were "holding their nose" when voting because they didn't agree with the BNP's racist agenda.
On 9 October 2014, UKIP won its first seat in Westminster, as Douglas Carswell, who had defected from the Tories and resigned as an MP, retained his seat in a byelection. They have also won a number of seats in the European Parliament. Since the EU referendum in 2016, UKIP have lost all their parliament seats and most of their council seats. 
As their name implies, they want Britain to leave the European Union, and they were originally a single-issue party dedicated to that goal (although how the transition would be effected was not a point of discussion). A significant cross section of the British population is antipathetic towards the EU, and a competent party will one day convert that fuel into electoral success, but UKIP has to date avoided this trap by being careful not to convey any appearance of moderation or sensibility. They do manage to steal some votes from the Conservative Party (who are too "mainstream" and pro-free market) and the BNP (who are a bit too overtly racist).
Their hardcore stances toward immigration (legal or otherwise), climate skepticism, a flat tax, and social conservatism essentially made them the British Tea Party, operating as a separate party to drag the Tories further right. Following Britain's vote to leave the European Union, many UKIPers (some of whom are former Conservative MPs) have defected to Theresa May's side, now that the Tories have switched off Cameron's dream of a socially-liberal party.In spite of all the other stances, Brexit was still their main platform, and it's because of this that its success was political suicide, with UKIP plummeting from the mainstream due to not having Euroscepticism to rely on anymore, and their other stances making them too radical for Conservatives, but not
radical fascist enough for BNPers.
They are more-or-less completely scientifically illiterate, as demonstrated by an interview published in The Guardian, in which Christopher Monckton, their science spokesman at the time (and former deputy leader), proposed that they would cut funding for climate science unless, as they see it, sufficient evidence should arise to change their mind on anthropogenic global warming, which he claims "large sums now squandered on addressing." In the same interview Monckton went on to say that health risks associated with excessive salt consumption are merely "unjustifiable fears" in regards to just one example. When asked on stem cell research, Monckton compared it to "the killing of very small children."
The UKIP Policy Statement on Health from 2010 endorsed a number of alternative medicine practices including herbal medicine, homeopathy and traditional Chinese medicine, and calls for the repeal of bans on herbal medicine. On homeopathy, the policy argues against the House of Commons Science and Technology select committee report which blasted homeopathy on the NHS as running counter to the practice of evidence-based medicine:
UKIP rejects the recent House of Commons report on homeopathy as an unbalanced and short-sighted dismissal of a branch of medicine that last year treated 54,000 people on the NHS. UKIP endorses the remarks of the Chief Executive of the British Homeopathic Association who pointed out that "the [select committee] inquiry was too narrow in its remit, there is plenty of evidence to support homeopathy, with 100 randomised controlled trials, and many more on outcome measures, which reflect how patients say they feel." UKIP believes that homeopathy has much to offer patients and notes that in a recent survey carried out at England's NHS homeopathic hospitals, some 70 per cent of patients said they felt some improvement after undergoing treatment. UKIP will continue to support homeopathy through the NHS.
The party led by Alan Sked (1993-1997) never campaigned against lowering legal immigration; UKIP's 1997 general election manifesto only noted their policy was to prevent illegal immigration: "Its [UKIP's] policy is therefore to retain and indeed tighten UK borders in order to prevent illegal immigration." By 2001 through the influence of Farage, UKIP had started talking about lowering the number of legal immigrants into UK; although set no limit or target since at the time it was not a major issue for the party. In their 2005 General election manifesto UKIP campaigned for zero net-immigration, meaning a reduction of over 200,000 legal immigrants into UK a year by "imposing far stricter limits on legal immigrants". In their 2010 general election manifesto, UKIP called for moratorium on legal immigration for 5 years, also opposing multiculturalism:
- End mass, uncontrolled immigration. UKIP calls for an immediate five-year freeze on immigration for permanent settlement
- Ensure that after the five-year freeze, any future immigration for permanent settlement will be on a strictly controlled, points-based system similar to Australia.
- All non-work permit visa entrants to the UK will be required to take out adequate health insurance. Those without insurance will be refused entry.
- End the active promotion of the doctrine of multiculturalism by local and national government and all publicly funded bodies
- Return people found to be living illegally in the UK to their country of origin. There can be no question of an amnesty for illegal immigrants.
UKIP's 2015 general election manifesto somewhat changed their 2010 policy to freeze legal immigration for 5 years to a "five-year moratorium on immigration for unskilled workers", so that immigrants with skills and professions could still enter the country. Furthermore, UKIP in 2015 no longer claimed they would deport illegal immigrants, but detain them by increasing holding and accommodation arrangements. Although the latter seems to have been reversed by Batten in 2018 who talks about deporting illegals.
Sensing an opportunity to attract the traditionalist wing of the Conservative Party over to UKIP, in 2012, Nigel Farage and co. decided to strongly oppose plans to implement equal marriage rights for same-sex partners.
A number of UKIP members have expressed some rather homophobic views:
- In 2004, Kellie Maloney (then Frank Maloney), a UKIP candidate for London mayor said she would not campaign in the borough of Camden because it had "too many gays," that gay people don't do a lot for society and "there is a problem with gay parades." Ironically she later came out as transgender.
- In the European Parliament, the UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom decided to call former UKIP MEP Nikki Sinclaire "a queer."
- In 2012, while campaigning in Soho (the hub of London's gay community), UKIP's press officer Gawain Towler tweeted a photo of a man setting light to a photograph of the openly gay candidate Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddick.
- Winston McKenzie, UKIP candidate for Croydon North, saying gay adoption is "unhealthy," is a form of "child abuse" and that children adopted by gay parents are "thrown away to the dogs."
- Another then-UKIP candidate — Julia Gasper — suggested that gay people should "stop complaining and start thanking straight people," because apparently gay people need to show a bit more gratitude for being born in the first place. Dr Gasper also claimed on a private UKIP forum that gay people frequently engaged in sex with animals, and "[a]s for the links between homosexuality and paedophilia, there is so much evidence that even a full-length book could hardly do justice to the subject", a statement agreed to by UKIP member Jan Zolyniak.
- In the run up to the 2013 local elections, candidate John Sullivan was found to have published on Facebook a post claiming that "Victorian" physical exercise regimes in schools would prevent people from being gay (completely oblivious to the 'gym bunny' stereotype in gay culture) and praising the Russian government for banning Pride marches.
- In January 2014 Henley on Thames UKIP councillor and Fred Phelps wannabe David Silvester was suspended from the party after writing a letter to the local paper laying the blame for the winter 2013/2014 floods in the UK on the legalisation of gay marriage.
- In May 2014, Dave Small, UKIP's councillor for Redditch borough council, was discovered to have posted racist and homophobic comments on Facebook including the following: "Why on earth is this useless Government pandering to Puffs? I refuse to call them gays, as what has gay to do with Perverts like Elton John and Clair Balding who get their jollies in such disgusting ways. To sum up, they should not allowed to be married, they should go back to the closet." Small's Facebook posts also concluded that Muslim immigrants were responsible for the spread of tuberculosis and that Muslims in Birmingham were "jabbering in an alien voice". Small was dropped by the party, but not before it was revealed that he used to edit 'Blues Zulu' magazine, a Birmingham City fanzine. In this capacity, he was arrested for inciting racial hatred following an article entitled "Fucking foreigners" which criticised various foreign-born football players and managers.
- In 2015, despite being the only major political party not to address LGBT issues within its manifesto (claiming the party is not "driven by the needs of differing special interests groups"), the party has stated that it will not "un-marry" same-sex couples, despite opposing same-sex marriage in the first place. The party's mini-manifesto for Christians also supported a religious conscience clause, not dissimilar to the anti-LGBT "religious freedom" laws in the US.
In 2015 it was reported that then UKIP leader Nigel Farage supported Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, a Polish priest who has been described as both homophobic and anti-Semitic (note the irony when you look in the next section) and who said of the election of the first openly gay Polish MP "the sodomites are coming; this is a very serious matter."
Despite Farage's claim that UKIP is a "party of freethinkers," in January 2013, UKIP fired Olly Neville, leader of UKIP youth organisation ('Young Independence') after he stated that he supported gay marriage. Richard Lowe, UKIP candidate for Chester, also had to resign after he supported gay marriage. Homophobia also occasionally seeps from the UKIP official forums.
Despite originally being allowed to participate in 2015 Pride in London, UKIP were banned from the celebrations due to safety concerns as many in the LGBT community rightly questioned why UKIP should be allowed to march, given their anti-gay views. Despite this, a handful of LGBTQ* in UKIP members did get involved in the event.
Perhaps to clean up their image following the parade of homophobic nutjobs (sorry "freethinkers") who have stood for election on the UKIP ticket, UKIP approved an 'LGBTQ* in UKIP' group, who thus far seem to have done very little other than grumble about how there aren't enough
sane "socially liberal" people in UKIP and has revelled in the Tory homophobia over the Sadiq Khan/Zac Goldsmith mayoral campaign in London, accusing him of being an "Islamist scumbag" and saying voting for Khan is "like cutting our own heads off" – not a subtle reference to Daesh's beheadings at all.
The general attitude to foreigners and racial/ethnic minorities is summed up by this quote from Paul Wiffen, the now-former UKIP London chairman:
You Left-wing scum are all the same, wanting to hand our birthright to Romanian gypsies who beat their wives and children into begging and stealing money they can gamble with, Muslim nutters who want to kill us and put us all under medieval Sharia law, the same Africans who sold their Afro-Caribbean brothers into a slavery that Britain was the first to abolish.
Have you noticed that if you rearrange the letters in ‘illegal immigrants,’ and add just a few more letters, it spells, ‘Go home you free-loading, benefit-grabbing, resource-sucking, baby-making, non-English-speaking ********* and take those other hairy-faced, sandal-wearing, bomb-making, camel-riding, goat-fucking raghead ******** with you.
Upon reading this, you might think that the man whose Facebook account this appeared on — that of Chris Pain, UKIP leader of Lincolnshire council — is a raving racist nutjob. But obviously it's because his Facebook got hacked.
Disgraced TV presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk was elected as a UKIP MEP in 2004 (he later left the party); his comments on anyone who isn't English are particularly telling.
Of course, one must avoid jumping to conclusions. For instance, a former UKIP candidate for Somerset, Alex Wood, came under sharp fire in the press after he had been tagged on a photo in which many people thought he was giving a Nazi salute, but it later turned out that he had been (in context with other photos) "imitating a pot[ted] plant". Police also confirmed that other racist comments ostensibly on his Facebook, which suggested that all Africans lived in mud huts, had not been posted by Wood and, in fact, never existed on his actual account in the first place, having been hoaxed through photoshop or a puppet account. Suspicions currently lie on Joshua Bonehill-Paine, a notorious troll and sockpuppeteer who was more recently arrested for imitating Wood during a Twitter abuse scandal in April 2015. The Mirror, which originated the accusations of racism, subsequently apologized for the error. Wood has since left the party.
On the other hand, East Sussex candidate Anna-Marie Crampton faced a hailstorm of criticism in 2013 after posts were made on her Facebook citing a falsified book to defend the existence of the Illuminati and a Zionist conspiracy behind WWII, which she also claimed were made by Facebook hackers. While there hasn't seemed to have been an investigation into the matter, perhaps a lesson in good password etiquette is in order.
In a May 2014 interview Farage claimed that he would feel "concerned" if Romanian people moved next door to him. When asked what the difference is between the Romanian people and his German national wife and children, he jokingly answered "you know the difference." The day after the interview, he expanded on this assertion, discussing the high crime rate in the Romanian community. He then double tracked on both of these assertions, claiming his mistake was due to tiredness.
Other items for review: ceasing all free IVF treatment on the NHS; cutting unecessary waste e.g the destruction of drugs in care homes when residents move on to the next care home or the next world; the pregnancy abortion time limit; compulsory abortion when the foetus is detected as having Downs, Spina Bifida or similar syndrome which, if it is born, could render the child a burden on the state as well as on the family.
After the revelation of Clark's mandatory-abortions-for-disabled-foetuses plan, he was promptly dropped as UKIP candidate. Good to see that the party rigorously checks the quality and sanity of their candidates before they stand for election.
Nigel Farage, in an attempt to wash away the shit-my-dad-says-grumblesponge image of UKIP, claimed the 2010 manifesto was "drivel", citing that "he didn't read it".. Ignoring both (A) the fact that Nigel Farage wrote the foreword to the UKIP 2010 Manifesto, as well as co-authored some of the policies and (B) the more problematic issue of implying that he approved a list of policies to campaign on for both his party and as a man trying to become Prime Minister, without reading (or much caring for) exactly what it was he was campaigning for.
Notable political activity
UKIP's European Parliament members are often moderately entertaining, when they bother to show up. Highlights include:
- Nigel Farage referring to Belgium as a "non-country" and telling EU President Herman Van Rompuy that he has "a loathing for the very concept of the existence of nation states" and stated that Van Rompuy had "the charisma of a damp rag."
- Godfrey Bloom interrupting a German politician to shout "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer."
- MEP Steven Woolfe getting into a fight with another UKIP MEP (allegedly, m'lud) during a party meeting and spending the night in hospital.
2010 UK General Election
- Having a candidate, John Boakes, die too close to the election, forcing a by-election at a later date.
- Farage being flown around in a light aircraft towing a banner on election day: the plane crashed injuring pilot and passenger.
- Nicking enough votes from the Tories' troglodyte wing to significantly reduce the number of seats the Tories won — possibly depriving them of a clear majority — thus driving Dave into Nick's arms.
2014 EU Parliament Election
UKIP won the largest share of the votes (27.5%) in the election, followed by the Labour (25.4%) and the Conservative party (23.9%). This increased the number of their MEPs to 24. While the eurosceptic bloc is still a long way from power, it will unfortunately force people to take them a teensy bit more seriously.
2014 UK by-elections
UKIP then went on to win their second seat in the House of Commons when the incumbent MP for Rochester and Strood, Mark Reckless, also defected from the Conservative Party (UK) and won 42.1 percent of the vote.
2015 UK General Election
Mark Reckless lost his seat to his conservative rival Kelly Tolhurst, leaving only Douglas Carswell in the Commons. However, the party increased its share of the vote to 3,881,129, a swing of +9.5% on 2010. Nigel Farage had repeatedly said that he would stand down from the leadership if he failed to win his South Thanet seat. He didn't win the seat and made a video saying he would stand down as leader, but later said that the UKIP Executive had not accepted his resignation and he would remain as leader. He also suggested that even if his leadership resignation had been allowed, he would have run for leadership again in the autumn of 2015. This caused an embarrassing internal spat for UKIP, after which most of Farage's opposition (of former aides) was quietly purged.
2015 UK by-elections
If the British media were to be believed, UKIP seemed to have a serious claim on taking the safe Labour seat of Oldham West and Royston at the by-election in December 2015. Reality then emerged and Labour won the seat with an increased majority. At first Farage blamed this on an "Asian bloc vote" and that too many constituents did not speak English. Later it was apparently due to crooked postal votes. A good loser is Nigel.
In 2016 they failed to win a seat in the Scottish parliament, but won 7 seats in the Welsh assembly, including one for disgraced ex-Tory Neil Hamilton.
UKIP naturally campaigned for the UK to leave the EU during the 2016 Brexit referendum, their biggest stunt being the sailing of a group of fishing vessels up the Thames, and their most vile being the notorious "breaking point" poster.
Nigel Farage quit the leadership after the 2016 Brexit referendum, and in September 2016 he was replaced by Diane James, a member of the European Parliament for South East England since 2014. Before then, she had served as an Independent councillor and made a strong showing for Ukip in the 2013 Eastleigh by-election but came second to the Lib Dems. In 2015 she attracted some controversy for expressing admiration for Vladimir Putin's fierce nationalism. She also defended Farage's possibly racist election posters, but in her favour she doesn't like the odious Welsh Ukip assembly member Neil Hamilton. She failed to advance any policies during her leadership campaign so it's hard to know exactly what she stands for other than nationalism and opposition to immigration. She has a degree in business and before entering politics she worked in private healthcare. James resigned from the role of leader of the party after a mere 18 days, which begs the question, why even bother? No worries though, a new leader will be elected soon enough. Steven Woolfe, the party favourite, has thrown his hat into the ring and is sure to succeed James as leader - provided, of course, that he manages to get his forms in on time this time. You'd think he wouldn't let anything stand in his way this time around. Right?
2017 Stoke byelection
Party leader Paul Nuttall made himself a national laughing stock in February 2017 while running as a candidate in the byelection for the Stoke-on-Trent Central parliamentary seat. His claim on his website that he lost friends in the Hillsborough football stadium disaster in 1989 were queried by his former school, who said he hadn't been there; and he stated (again on his website) to have been invited onto the board of a charity - he hadn't. His Hillsborough comments caused two UKIP members in Merseyside to quit the party, citing his "crass insensitivity" - which is rather odd as UKIP have been all about crass insensitivity from the outset.
Nuttall stepped down as UKIP leader in June 2017, following the party's failure to win any seats in the general election. Steve Crowther became acting leader.
Bolton, a former soldier and police officer who received an OBE for work in Afghanistan, became leader of UKIP on 29 September 2017. He rapidly became more known for his personal life than any political success, when he left his Russian wife Tatiana Smurova-Bolton after starting a relationship with 25 year old model Jo Marney (Bolton was 54). This became even more controversial when it was revealed that before they met, Marney had made racist comments about Meghan Markle, the mixed-race fiancée of Prince Harry. Bolton broke off the relationship but still faced calls to quit from the party's governing national executive committee and other party members. He was removed from his position in February 2018. 
Batten became leader of Ukip in February 2018. He previously worked as a salesman and has served as a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 until whenever Brexit happens. He was the party's candidate for Mayor of London in 2008, and Spokesman for Exiting the European Union until he resigned in January 2018 in protest against Henry Bolton's uselessness as leader. Batten's leadership is notable for his pandering to the far right, to the extent that even Nigel Farage attacked him for taking Ukip in the "shameful direction" of white identity politics. In June 2018 Sargon of Akkad, Paul Joseph Watson, Count Dankula and Milo Yiannopoulos joined UKIP and turned the party further to the right and made it even more islamophobic. Batten then appointed alt-right activist and Sargons Daddy Tommy Robinson as an advisor, making many famous UKIP politicians like Suzanne Evans, Caroline Jones, William Dartmouth, Paul Nuttall and even the alt-rights god Nigel Farage leave the party. Farage called Batten "obsessed" with Islam and said "UKIP wasn't founded to be a party based on fighting a religious crusade".
Amongst the party's current critics is its original founder Alan Sked, who called it "morally dodgy" and accused it of focusing too much on opposing Islam and immigration rather than on other issues such as the economy.
UKIP is also one of the only parties to receive substantial criticism on aesthetic grounds, largely as a result of its unfortunate decision to pick deep purple (rather appropriate for a group that wishes it was still 1972) as an official colour. Reading their garish, multicoloured campaign material can cause temporary blindness. It is also questionable that UKIP is an anti-EU party, with seats in the EU Parliament. This becomes doubly bizarre when you consider the possibility of them causing mischief with their far-right friends in the Europe of Freedom and Democracy group.
In 2010, Lord Pearson, then a UKIP leader, told voters in Somerset to avoid UKIP candidates and vote for Conservatives instead. It's quite a feat when your own Lords are telling people not to vote for you...
UKIP and the BNP, EDL etc.
The BNP hate UKIP for stealing their anti-EU thunder and devoted considerable effort in UKIP's early days to messing them up. Fortunately, UKIP were sufficiently incompetent to do quite a good job all on their own. UKIP and BNP's stated policies are very similar, the difference being that the BNP are Nazi chancers and UKIP are horribly sincere about everything.
UKIP attempts to distance themselves from other British extremists were somewhat undermined when their Thanet South branch followed in the footsteps of the EDL and mistook Westminster Cathedral, no less, for a mosque. "The people's army are not all wholly trained," responded Farage.
Since the departure of Nigel Farage, the party has struggled for a direction, but under Gerard Batten seems to have decided that being virulently Islamophobic is the way to keep the party relevant. He has courted the Football Lads Alliance and its offshoot the Democratic Football Lads Association. In May 2018 he spoke at a rally in London alongside far-right anti-Islam campaigners Tommy Robinson and Anne Marie Waters, as well as YouTuber Sargon of Akkad and ex-Breitbart alt-right writer and provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. Farage criticised Batten's support for Robinson, saying, "I think this gets to the heart of not just the positioning of a political party, but of judgment too. And judgment really, really matters."
In spring 2018 it was announced that some prominent alt-right or far-right figures had joined the party: Mark Meechan (aka Count Dankula) who had shortly before been convicted of breaking the law over a dark-humoured “antisemitic” YouTube video; Paul Joseph Watson of far-right conspiracy theory website InfoWars; and Carl Benjamin (Sargon of Akkad) who amongst many provocations had joked about raping a British Labour Party MP. In November 2018 the party was condemned by the The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Community Security Trust for its links to InfoWars.
- Dave Cameron described UKIP in 2006 as "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly."
- Margaret Thatcher met with the then-leader of the party to give them tips, apparently finding the Conservative Party too pro-European in her later years.
- Ukip’s transformation into a far-right party is complete. Financial Times. 23 November 2018.
- How Ukip embraced the far right. The Guardian (Today in Focus). 22 January 2019.
- UK European election results.
- Ukip thinks bashing Muslims wins votes – but this could spell its end. The Guardian. 26 April 2017.
- UKIP leader defends hiring Tommy Robinson. BBC News. 23 November 2018.
- Nigel Farage quits Ukip over party's 'extremism' direction. ITV News. 4 December 2018.
- MEP Lord Dartmouth quits UKIP saying party is 'widely perceived as both homophobic and anti-Islamic'. Sky News. 26 September 2018.
- Third Ukip MEP quits over party's courtship of Tommy Robinson. The Guardian. 27 November 2018.
- Paul Nuttall quits UKIP over Tommy Robinson role. BBC News. 7 December 2018.
- The Founder Of Nigel Farage's New Brexit Party Has A History Of Anti-Muslim Comments. BuzzFeed News. 11 February 2019.
- testosterone Farage ally said black men are violent due to high testosterone. The Guardian. 22 January 2019.
- Ford, Robert, Matthew J. Goodwin, and David Cutts. "Strategic Eurosceptics and polite xenophobes: support for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in the 2009 European Parliament elections." European Journal of Political Research 51.2 (2012): 204-234.
- Whatever his motives, Nigel Farage is right on Ukip. Financial Times. 5 December 2018.
- UKIP leader Joins Marine Le Pen's Far-Right EU Group. The Local. 16 January 2019.
- UKIP rejects BNP electoral offer. BBC News. 3 November 2008.
- How many seats could UKIP have under a different voting system?.
- Ukip is back thanks to the Chequers backlash. The Spectator. 28 July 2018.
- Mason, Rowena (9 April 2015). "Senior Ukip politician lauds Vladimir Putin's leadership". The Guardian.
- Feuding Ukip sees off Diane James as leader
- Bloom, Dan (16 September 2016). "Neil Hamilton ditched from Ukip party conference list". Wales Online.
- See the Wikipedia article on Paul Nuttall.
- "UKIP members vote to sack embattled leader Henry Bolton". BBC News (BBC). 17 February 2018. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-43098646. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
- Ukip leader plans to move party towards hard right, Peter Walker, The Guardian, 1 May 2018
- Ford, Robert & Goodwin, Matthew. (2014). Revolt on the Right: Explaining Support for the Radical Right in Britain. Routledge. p. 21.
- Robert & Goodwin, 2004: 33
- As the founder of Ukip, I know it's all over for the party. Independent. 24 January 2018.
- Some ancient history on Nigel Farage, UKIP and the BNP.
- Former UKIP leader quits party. BBC News. 21 March 2000.
- Robert & Goodwin, 2004: 94-94.
- It feels like the BNP - only in blazers. The Guardian. 30 May 2004.
- City UKIP member holds vital vote. BBC News. 30 July 2004.
- New UKIP defection to 'Veritas'. BBC News. 30 January 2005.
Britain's newest political party, Veritas, was launched today on a populist platform of 'straight-talking' and defending the country against asylum, immigration and multiculturalism, under former chatshow host Robert Kilroy-Silk. In a 15-minute debut speech to reporters at Westminster, Mr Kilroy-Silk lambasted Tony Blair and Michael Howard as "liars" and said his new party would be looking for the votes of those who had "been made to feel ashamed of their culture and being British". Mentioning only "mass immigration and uncontrolled asylum" as policy areas, the former TV star and MEP - now on his third political party after spells with Labour and Ukip - bordered on ranting as he repeatedly dismissed the entire British political establishment as liars, before saying the British public were "tired of yah-boo politics". Kilroy goes solo with Veritas launch. The Guardian. 2 Feb 2005.
- Kilroy-Silk launches Veritas on immigration ticket. The Telegraph. 2 Feb 2005.
- Ukip accentuates the negative. The Guardian. 16 April 2005.
- Kilroy-Silk puts immigration at the top of new party's agenda. Telegraph. 3 February 2005.
- BNP doubles its vote as it builds on support in inner cities. The Guardian. 6 May 2005.
- Political Sources: Veritas.
- See 2006 local elections
- Ukip to field record number of candidates. The Guardian. 10 April 2018.
- English local elections 2007. BBC News. 15 May 2007.
- UKIP rejects BNP electoral offer. BBC News. 3 Nov 2008.
- Ex-Tory MP Spink defects to UKIP. BBC News. 22 April 2008
- Local elections: other parties. The Guardian. 5 June 2009.
- General election 2010: the defeat of the BNP. The Guardian. 14 May 2010.
- BNP loses all 12 seats in Barking and Dagenham council. BBC News. 8 May 2010.
- Ukip attracts anti-immigrant vote as polite alternative to BNP. Independent. 16 April 2011.
- Goodwin & Ford, 2004: 251.
- UKIP takes control of first council. BBC News. 13 May 2011.
- Nick Griffin and the fall of the BNP. The Guardian 21 May 2011.
- What killed the BNP?. NewStatesman. 12 January 2016.
- UKIP and BNP seek to woo voters in Oldham by-election. BBC News. 4 January 2011.
- Nigel Farage says he is 'proud' to have secured former BNP supporters. Independent. April 2014.
- Ukip enjoys record local election results. 4 May 2012.
- The BNP is finished as an electoral force. The Guardian. 4 May 2012.
- Local Elections: BNP Down To Two Councillors. HuffPost. 3 May 2013.
- Nigel Farage: I am proud to have taken a third of the BNP's support. Telegraph. 31 March 2014.
- UKIP gains first elected MP with Clacton win, BBC News website, posted and accessed 9 October 2014.
- "Douglas Carswell quitting UKIP". BBC News. 25 March 2017. Archived from the original on 25 March 2017. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39393213. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
- "Local elections: UKIP suffers big losses across England". BBC News. 5 May 2017. Archived from the original on 5 May 2017. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39815444. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
- Clark, Thomas G. (29 September 2014). "12 significant Tory-UKIP defectors". Another Angry Voice.
- Asthana, Anushka; Mason, Rowena (16 September 2016). "Nigel Farage aide defects to Tories claiming a mass exodus from Ukip". The Guardian.
- Ukip answers questions about its science policy, The Guardian
- Thank you, Wayback Machine.
- Vote_UKIP on Twitter
- Health: UKIP Policy
- Political Sources: UKIP Manifesto 1997.
- Political Sources: UKIP Manifesto 2001.
- Political Sources: UKIP Manifesto 2005.
- Political Sources: UKIP Manifesto 2010
- UKIP Manifesto 2015. UKIP.org.
- Gay marriage row: Ukip plans to derail David Cameron, The Guardian
- UK Independence Party aims to exploit Tory equal marriage divide
- UKIP candidate sparks gay anger, BBC News
- Boxing legend Frank Maloney: 'I'm undergoing a sex change to become a woman'
- Nikki Sinclaire wins UKIP sex discrimination case, BBC News
- Brian Paddick Picture Burnt In Soho By Ukip Supporters, Huffington Post
- UKIP By-election candidate: Gay people should not be allowed to adopt
- UKIP Culture Spokesman: Same-sex adoption is ‘child abuse’
- UKIP's McKenzie says gay adoption is like throwing kids to 'dogs'
- UKIP candidate suggested gays ‘stop complaining and start thanking straight people’
- Ugly face of UKIP: Sunday Mirror exposes racist and homophobic views of party members, Sunday Mirror
- Physical excercise prevents you becoming gay, claims UK councillor candidate
- “Since the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, the nation has been beset by serious storms and floods"
- Ukip councillor in homophobia and racism row over Elton John ‘pervert’ and immigrant ‘scum’ comments – just 48 hours after being elected, The Independent
- Sacked UKIP councillor was Blues Zulu mag editor who was once quizzed by cops over 'racist article', Birmingham Mail
- Gander, Kashmira. "UKIP is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto". (15 April 2015). The Independent.
- Mason, Rowena. "Ukip offers legal protection to Christians who oppose same-sex marriage". (28 April 2015). The Guardian.
- Hill, Symon. "UKIP's 'Christian Manifesto' Will Be Repulsive to Many Christian Voters" (29 April 2015). The Huffington Post.
- Nigel Farage heads for row over Ukip's anti-gay allies, The Guardian
- Ukip youth leader Olly Neville dropped in gay marriage row, Channel 4
- So much for the libertarians! How Ukip sacked me after I said I support equal marriage, The Independent
- UKIP Parliamentary candidate forced to resign for supporting gay equality
- Users of official UKIP website compare homosexuality to bestiality and paedeophlia
- We've singled out this screenshot.
- Sandhu, Amit. "Ukip banned from gay pride march after party's inclusion stokes anger". (5 June 2015). The Guardian.
- Nick Duffy and Joseph Patrick McCormick. "UKIP LGBT group marches at London Pride despite being banned" (27 June 2015). PinkNews.
- UKIP LGBT group: ‘We really need more candidates from the socially liberal side of society’
- Duffy, Nick. "UKIP's LGBT members: Sadiq Khan is 'Islamist scum' and voting for him is 'like cutting our own heads off'" (28 March 2016). PinkNews.
- London chairman of Ukip suspended over racist remarks, Evening Standard (Note that in fact, other nations banned slavery before Great Britain, notably revolutionary France (before reinstating it under Napoleon), some American colonies, and most especially Haiti after the slaves freed themselves.
- What a load of tosh, Hope Not Hate
- More Ukip horror as investigation exposes racist abuse
- UKIP councillors' racist rants: More of Nigel Farage's troops exposed as bigots, Daily Mirror
- Robert Kilroy-Silk's views about foreigners
- Alex Wood Cleared Of Posting Racist Comments On Facebook, Huffington Post
- Ukip's Nigel Farage Tells LBC Radio: I Don't Want Romanians as my Neighbours, International Business Times
- UKIP leader stands by his assertion that people have a right to be concerned if a group of Romanians move in next door, the official UKIP website (not part of the 'vast media conspiracy')
- ‘Tired’ Nigel Farage regrets comments, BBC News
- New UKIP MEP wrote book celebrating 'golliwogs' after being suspended by Tory party, Mirror, 1 Jun 2014
- Mencap slam UKIP candidate who called for "compulsory abortion" of disabled people, New Statesman
- Farage defiant after calling Belgium 'a non-country', BBC News
- UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom ejected over Nazi jibe, BBC News
- Steven Woolfe 'smiling and well' after alleged fight with Ukip MEP
- Funeral for UKIP election candidate John Boakes, BBC News
- General Election 2010: Ukip challenge 'cost Tories a Commons majority', The Telegraph
- UKIP storms European elections, The Telegraph
- Labour's Jim McMahon wins Oldham byelection - as it happened
- Nigel Farage: UKIP Will Struggle To Win Oldham By-Election Due To “Block Vote”
- Thames: Nigel Farage and Bob Geldof fishing flotilla clash
- EU referendum: George Osborne compares Ukip ‘breaking point’ migration poster to Nazi propaganda
- Diane James becomes UKIP leader, BBC, 16 Sept 2016
- See the Wikipedia article on Diane James.
- Ukip Elects Diane James as New Party Leader, Guardian, 16 Sept 2016
- Why Ukip leadership hopeful Diane James is not proposing any policies, Daily Mail/Press Association
- Diane James offers crumbling Ukip a safe pair of hands, The Guardian, 16 Sept 2016
- Ukip leader Paul Nuttall faces fresh controversy over a rejected claim that he joined the board of a training charity
- Two Ukip chairmen in Merseyside quit over Hillsborough row
- Election results 2017: Paul Nuttall quits as UKIP leader, BBC, 9 June 2017
- Henry Bolton (British politician)
- UKIP leader splits with partner after Meghan Markle texts, BBC, 15 Jan 2018
- UKIP leader Henry Bolton hit by ruling body 'no confidence' vote, BBC, 21 Jan 2018
- "UKIP members vote to sack embattled leader Henry Bolton". BBC News (BBC). 17 February 2018. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-43098646. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
- See the Wikipedia article on Gerard Batten.
- Nigel Farage bids to topple UKIP leader Gerard Batten over Tommy Robinson role, Sky News, 23 Nov 2018
- Ukip Founder Alan Sked Says The Party Is 'Morally Dodgy' And 'Extraordinarily Right-Wing', Huffington Post
- In this example they invoke the spirit of Winston Churchill, who is famous for going into Europe.
- UKIP asks voters in Somerset to back the Tories, BBC News
- "Ukip leaflet which exploits Britain's war dead uses snap of French graves", The Sun
- UKIP and the BNP - What's the difference?
- Hope Not Hate blog post with screenshots
- Washington Post story; BBC video on Facebook.
- Two Different Football Lads Alliances Held Islamophobic Demos in Birmingham, Vice, 26 Mar 2018
- UKIP forms alliance with hooligan-led street movements, Hope not Hate, 6 March 2018
- Thousands march in 'free speech' protest led by rightwing figures, The Guardian, 6 May 2018
- Nigel Farage wary of new Ukip leader's hard-right stance, Peter Walker, The Guardian, 11 June 2018
- Ukip isn’t dead. It’s alive and embracing the far right, Nesrine Malik, The Guardian, 18 June 2018
- Ukip gains 500 new members since allowing prominent far-right activists to join party, The Independent, 27 June 2018
- Antisemitism row: Ukip accused over links with US far-right website, Peter Walker, Guardian, 5 Nov 2018
- Ukip leader Gerard Batten calls Muhammad a paedophile at Tommy Robinson rally, The Independent, 15 July 2018
- Theresa May accused of lifting cat anecdote from Ukip leader, The Guardian
- Exclusive: Thatcher advised UKIP on party morale, The Telegraph