Surge of the 'independence' party
The UK Independence Party (Ukip) saw a jump in support in the recent elections after pushing its policy platform to focus on removing Britain from the European Union.
The May 2 UK local government elections saw a startling swing in support of the UK Independence Party (Ukip) - whose main policy platform is a pledge to remove Britain from the European Union - with the group polling around a quarter of the vote.
The sudden increase in backing was the largest surge in support for a fourth party in England since WWII and was variously dubbed "a sea change" and a "seismic event" in British politics. But The Observer's columnist, Andrew Rawnsley, was decidedly less moved, urging such commentators to "take a cold shower and calm down".
The results for the party, whose supporters UK Prime Minister David Cameron once described as "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists", were "clearly noteworthy" he said, "but it is extremely premature to start jabbering that this is a historic turning point."
The vote demonstrated some voters' exasperation with Europe and others' frustration at the entire political system, he continued, adding -
The big challenge for all the established parties is how to deal with the ‘anti-politics' mood that Ukip is feeding off, the resentment felt by many voters that Britain is run in their own interests and those of their friends by a lookalike metropolitan elite who are all implicated in the economic mess. [...] Ukip may be inhabited by oddballs, the unsavoury and worse, but there is one sense in which the mainstream parties should be grateful to this particularly English way of protesting. Across Europe, austerity is fuelling a revolt against the political establishment that is manifesting itself in surges of support for the hard left or the far right - parties such as Marine Le Pen's Front National in France and the fascist Golden Dawn in Greece. We will have done well if Ukip is as ugly as it ever gets here.
Read this article in German.