Paper summary: A revolt on the right?

The social and political attitudes of UKIP supporters

The last five years of coalition government has been marked by an unprecedented rise in support for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). This paper looks at the extent to which the views of UKIP supporters are distinctive from those of the rest of the public, looking not only at those issues such as Europe and immigration on which the party has focused, but also those such as inequality about which it has said rather less.

Conservative on social issues

UKIP supporters are relatively conservative on many social issues.

  • Three-quarters (75%) back the death penalty, whereas only around half (48%) the general population now do so.
  • Twice as many UKIP supporters agree (46%) as disagree (23%) that people who want to have children should get married.

Distrustful of government

UKIP supporters are deeply distrustful of government though they follow politics at least as much as anyone else.

  • 70% of UKIP supporters believe they do not have any say in what the government does, well above the 44% figure among the public as a whole.
  • Over half (57%) say they talk about politics ‘often’ or ‘sometimes, slightly more than the 50% of the general public that do so.

Concerned about inequality

UKIP supporters are just as likely to be concerned about inequality as Labour supporters – but
are not sure they want government to do anything about it.

  • Around three-quarters (76%) of UKIP supporters feel that ordinary people do not get their fair share of the nation’s wealth – much the same as the 72% of Labour supporters that do so.
  • However, only 40% of UKIP supporters believe that the government should redistribute
    income to the less well-off, rather less than the 52% of Labour supporters that do so.

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