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The populist signal: Tackling the political drivers of Ukip support

  • Date(s)
    5 October 2015
  • Time
  • Location
    Meeting Room 2, Premier Inn Manchester Central, 7-11 Lower Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3DW
The populist signal: Tackling the political drivers of Ukip support

Although the party only won a single seat, Ukip played a disruptive role in the general election. It came second in 120 seats and won almost four million votes. With the EU referendum underway, the campaign could tear the Conservatives apart, fuelling Ukip’s fire for another round of political destruction, leaving the Tories vulnerable.

In a major new Policy Network and Barrow Cadbury Trust report, Claudia Chwalisz argues that to win the ground war against Ukip, mainstream parties need to start by tackling deeply rooted alienation from the political system. The report draws on new polling and international case studies to argue that political disaffection is the underlying driver of populist support.

Democratic redesign and institutional innovation are the way forward – new polling highlights widespread public support for citizens playing a more meaningful role in the governing process. The rise of populists can be a corrective signal for democracy if parties experiment with new ways of reconnecting people with politics and giving them a voice in the political decisions that affect them.


Ian Birrell, contributing editor, Mail on Sunday

Claudia Chwalisz, policy researcher, Policy Network

Rob Ford, senior lecturer in politics, University of Manchester and author of Revolt on the Right

Jenni Russell, columnist, The Times, The Sunday Times and the Evening Standard

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