Euroskeptic UKIP the UK’s Favorite Party

According to a poll conducted by ComRes and
published in the U.K.-based
The Independent on Sunday
, the euroskeptic United
Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) is the U.K.’s favorite political
party and its leader, Nigel Farage, is the second most popular
leader of a major British political party (he follows Prime
Minister David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party).

Ed Miliband, the less than awe-inspiring leader of the Labour
Party, and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who has had to deal
with a lot of unfair criticism from ungrateful members of his own
party, are the least favorable political leaders.

Breakdown of the poll results below:

What’s interesting about the popularity of UKIP is that it
could deny the two largest parties (the Conservatives and
Labour) a majority at the next general election, leaving the U.K.
with its second hung parliament in a row. In this May’s European
elections UKIP could do very well by taking advantage of
euroskepticism in the U.K

While UKIP may be enjoying some popularity, it is important for
British classical liberals to remember that the party is not,
despite what its constitution says,
a libertarian party. UKIP’s hostility to to free trade and
capitalism was highlighted last year by Farage’s
Bulgarian and Romanian immigration

I have written before about how UKIP
is not
a libertarian party, but it is
especially worth highlighting months away from European elections.
The European Union is an institution that is worthy of the mockery
and anger that Farage is known for (see clips below):

However, the hostility Farage and his UKIP colleagues have
towards the undemocratic and regulation-obsessed European Union is
not reason enough for those who calls themselves libertarians to
support UKIP.

I don’t understand the appeal of politics, but if British
libertarians do want to get involved in politics they should not
forget that there are classical liberal or classical
liberal-leaning politicians outside of UKIP. In the Conservative
Party Steve Baker MP,
Alan Duncan MP,
Douglas Carswell MP, and

Daniel Hannan MEP
each have libertarian sympathies. Even in the
Liberal Democrats, a party that is wrongly categorized by many in
the U.S. and the U.K. as being part of “the left,” politicians like
David Laws MP
and other so-called
Orange Bookers
 are sympathetic to competition and economic
liberalism. The exception to this description of the Orange Bookers
is Vince Cable MP, who contributed to The Orange Book but
is more of a social democrat than a Gladstonian liberal.

May is still a few months away
recent news

that the British economy is improving, which may help
the Conservatives and make some people more hesitant to support
UKIP, which includes many disillusioned Conservatives.

from Hit & Run

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