Q-Step Election Special - Day 3: Trust

12 November 2014

The rise of UKIP in the polls (currently at 15 per cent, over twice the vote share of the Liberal Democrats) and the party’s spectacular by-election victory in Clacton have sent party leaders scuttling in search of policy solutions to stem the tide towards UKIP. David Cameron in particular has adopted a much harder line on Britain’s financial contributions to the EU, hoping to prove his eurosceptic credentials.

Yet alongside the undoubted appeal that UKIP has for Britons who dislike the EU, euroscepticism is not the only reason why the party has grown so sharply. As students in my classes on ‘Political Behaviour in Britain’ have learned, one of the reasons for UKIP’s popularity is the discontent with, and even alienation from, the established parties and political system felt by many people in Britain today. Recent research has shown the extent to which UKIP support rides on the distrust people now feel for the Conservative and Labour parties. David Cameron and Ed Miliband have to do more than offer UKIP supporters and would-be supporters tempting policy offers; they have to convince voters that their party is acting in people’s interests and can be trusted.

Dr Ben Seyd – Lecturer in British and Comparative Politics

dr ben seyd

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