Upon Theresa May’s decision to hold an election, it seemed the two major British parties may have been the ones superiorly impacted. Their status, and resulting support networks, seemed to suggest they might be held in the best stead, and might, therefore, reap the largest benefits. This seemed the case, with May extending her tenure as Prime Minister and Labour increasing their seats, yet the other noteworthy result seemed to surround Ukip. In the aftermath of their election campaign, they seemed to head along a fresh path, with Henry Bolton attaining the position of leader and, with a vote of members forthcoming, Bolton has announced his intentions to remain in the role. Whilst perhaps attaining a different leader might provide the party with a new, innovative ideology, enabling Bolton to extend his tenure might allow Ukip to reap further benefits, providing it with stability for the future and signalling the quest towards number 10.
Bolton originally stood as an MP in 2005, yet represented the Liberal Democrats. Whilst this might suggest his political affiliations may have contrasted those of Ukip, it may have enabled him to attain the knowledge of how to appeal to different masses of people. Furthermore, having previously outlined his belief surrounding the effectiveness of a policy may be more important than the side of the political spectrum from which it arises, he may be highlighting how his ideologies may have remained consistent. This stability might be important in potentially consolidating his position, as with the party having had four permanent leaders in eighteen months, the necessity for this might be intensifying. Whilst Nigel Farage seems to remain a popular member of the party, with him being an integral reason behind their advancement from a fringe party naturally supporting this suggestion, his successors may aim to replicate, and ultimately surpass, his achievements.
Yet, this debate may also showcase the desire of Ukip to become an increasingly involved party in British politics, with their overarching quest for number ten underpinning this desire. In holding a vote of members, they may be showcasing their intention to find the most proficient leader available to act as their talisman. With their rival leaders perhaps possessing superior experience at the pinnacle, Ukip may be seeking other traits required for success; whilst Bolton might possess a multitude of these, in bringing the matter to the forefront of focus it might enable him to strive to further improve in order to remain in the position. Ultimately, their pursuit of implementing policies seems to remain important, and they seem to be proving how having their best interests as a priority might elevate their chances of accomplishment.
With the party perhaps possessing ideologies which link intrinsically to Brexit, they may yet play an integral role in the debate. Considering they seemed key contributors in Brexit ultimately emerging victorious, most notably due to their campaigning, they might be able to appeal to voters who desired this outcome. As such, utilising the debate may be a priority for any leader, and with the public striving for increased involvement, Ukip’s entrance may be welcomed.
Considering Bolton vocalised his declaration on the Andrew Marr show, he might have showcased his ability to react to situations and address the public directly to represent them. With Corbyn highlighting the importance of listening to public opinion, as showcased in the election, and May’s alterations surrounding Brexit also supporting this, Bolton may have seen the benefits of subscribing to this ideology. In proving his ability to listen, he may be highlighting how he possesses the credentials to lead Ukip into new successes and set a precedent for future leaders to replicate. Yet, both outcomes may be productive for the party, as whilst Bolton retaining his position might enable him to implement his reform, the opposing outcome might provide his successor with a similar opportunity. With the next election in 2022, there seems ample time for any leader to appeal to the masses, and with Brexit talks ongoing, this may be a poignant period to show how they might realise their Parliamentary intentions.
How might UKIP enter the forefront of British politics with alterations to their ideologies?