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date: 30 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the evolution of the extreme and radical right in the United Kingdom, providing an overview of its historical, organizational, and electoral development. In contrast to the experience of several other Western democracies, the repeated failures of extreme and radical right parties in Britain led academics to point to “British exceptionalism,” or to portray this case as the “ugly duckling” in the wider family of Europe’s extreme right. However, between 2010 and 2016, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) scored a string of impressive successes, finishing ahead of the mainstream parties in the 2014 European Parliament elections, then winning nearly 13 percent of the popular vote in the 2015 general election. The final section considers the role of UKIP in the United Kingdom’s 2016 referendum on European Union membership and what the future is likely to hold for the radical right in Britain.

Keywords: radical right, right-wing movements, UK Independence Party, EU membership, Brexit

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