Today was the day that #Paul Nuttall was crowned the new leader of #Ukip, having taken the crown from Nigel Farage. A party based on the principle of the UK leaving the EU, now that #Brexit is happening what can UKIP do to remain a part of the UK's political landscape?
During the 2015 Westminster elections, UKIP gained a 9.5% gain on where they were in 2010. They achieved a total of 3,881,099, over 12% of the UK's vote but crucially only took one seat in parliament. The Liberal Democrats took eight seats but had over a million fewer votes than UKIP. Is this now UKIP's high and low point all in one, given now that their principal aim, of Brexit, has been accomplished.
UKIP after Brexit
Brexit has taken away the main reason for UKIP. Diane James, the once erstwhile leader of UKIP has stated that the party is in crisis and has deep rifts, has a huge hole where once Farage stood and now has no direction since Brexit was announced.
Paul Nuttall, then, why would he want to take on this job and what can he do? He has simply summed his goal up as, “I want to replace the Labour party and make UKIP the patriotic party of the UK.”. As the party has seen many supporters leave and go to the Tories, this move makes sense.
Labour is a party, tearing itself apart. No one quite knows who and where Labour has it's priorities, as such their traditional working class vote can be easily picked by UKIP. UKIP can now model themselves as the party of the disenfranchised, a party against the political elite, a party without the career politicians of both the Tory and the Labour variety. This model worked during Brexit, has made Trump the most powerful leader in the world and looks like giving a significant boost to Le Pen in the forthcoming French elections.
Paul Nuttall, as UKIP leader
Paul Nuttall with his strong Scouse accent can be seen as the opposite of the UK'S political class and their Oxbridge accents. Leading UKIP, then we could have a man who's voice gives away his origins, not a smooth, polished political orator of the elite classes.
As such UKIP, could have been seen as being dead after the Brexit vote. Instead after the tearing apart of the UK's political landscape after the Brexit vote, this can be Nuttall's chance to position himself as a man of the people, much in the mould of Farage, and lead UKIP onwards to electoral success.