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The dilemmas of a single-issue party - The UK Independence Party

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Abstract:

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has been one of the most successful single-issue parties in modern British political history. With its central policy of withdrawal from the European Union, UKIP was the third largest party in the 2004 European Parliament elections. However, this article highlights the tensions that exist within the party, in terms of strategy, focus and even its objectives. From its foundation in the early 1990s, the party has been placed in a position equivalent to the Fundi-Realo debate in the German Green party of the 1980s: does the party strive for ideological purity and singularity of purpose, or does it work within the system it professes to abhor? The article considers the different pressures placed on the party, considering both environmental constraints placed on it by the institutional system and the internal ideological currents at play. These internal and external factors help to explain the party's dilemma and point towards some possible future paths.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00344890802237023

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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