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Immigration concern is behind the rise of Reform UK

July 27, 2023 - 10:00am

Has Britain’s populist Reform UK party finally begun to move the needle? Hidden among the dots in Politico’s Poll of Polls is the fact that support for Reform now stands at 8%, its best showing since the 2019 election and just five points shy of Ukip’s 2015 result. With these numbers, Reform could begin to wield the kind of influence Ukip once did over the Tories’ policy direction.

This could be a blip but, as the graph below shows, Reform’s numbers have steadily climbed, from around 3% in the autumn of 2022 to a steady 5-6% over the past nine months and, in the past week or two, to 8%.

Demand conditions — the rising profile of Reform’s signature issue of immigration — more than Richard Tice’s leadership or Nigel Farage’s banking travails, likely account for the change.

According to YouGov’s immigration opinion tracker, 61% of British voters say immigration is too high, rising to the mid-80s among 2019 Tory voters. This is over twice the level of Labour voters, showing how immigration attitudes have become increasingly partisan since the mid-2010s.

Immigration preferences are rooted in personal psychology and ideology, and have not changed much. What has shifted, however, is the importance restrictionists attach to the immigration question. Record numbers of asylum-seekers crossing the channel and unprecedented legal net migration levels of over 600,000 have resulted in more coverage of the issue in the media.

Numbers and press coverage tend to increase the priority of immigration among those who want less of it. Instead of migration being their fifth or sixth most important concern, it rises to first or second place. The share of voters rating immigration a top-three issue in Ipsos’s Issues Index has doubled since mid-2022.

This rise in concern is particularly evident among Tory supporters, many of them Leavers who voted Conservative for the first time in 2019. In this context, it is noteworthy that YouGov’s leading issues tracker shows nearly six in 10 Tory voters ranking immigration a leading concern, not far off the seven in 10 who did so prior to the Brexit vote. If pressures around the cost of living or NHS were to begin to abate, these numbers could rise further.

But the Tories are not well-placed to harness this discontent. On their watch migration, whether legal or illegal, has soared. The short-term demands of market liberals for economic growth, or lobbyists for more low-cost workers, have triumphed over the longer-term desires of the culturally conservative voters who form the Tory base.

The result is alienation, with many Tories staying away, as was clear in the party’s disastrous results in the recent by-elections. It feels like a reprise of the 2010s, which culminated in Brexit.

So what happens next? A betrayal narrative is well in motion, with many culturally conservative voters feeling that the Tories have failed them on immigration, as was true prior to 2016. Yet, this time, anti-immigration sentiment is unlikely to be diverted toward an elite political project such as the “global Britain” of liberal Brexiteers such as Boris Johnson. Support for Brexit has sagged to an all-time low of 32%. This points to the eventual emergence of a continental-style populism focusing less on political sovereignty and more on cultural security and migration.

Reform may prove the vehicle for this new movement, perhaps under Farage’s tutelage (at least after 2024). On the other hand, the fondness of Tice and Farage for tilting at unpopular libertarian windmills like opposing net zero or lockdowns, or backing Liz Truss’s tin-eared tax cuts, may limit their headroom, offering an opening for a fresher face.


Eric Kaufmann is Professor of Politics at the University of Buckingham and author of Taboo: How Making Race Sacred Led to a Cultural Revolution (Forum Press, 4 July).

epkaufm

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Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
11 months ago

Do the immigrants want to assimilate?Do the immigrants have the high tech skills needed?How much money will the immigrants take from the state with regard to healthcare, welfare, etc ? Will the immigrants increase demand for housing and so push up costs where people are least able to afford it? Will the children of immigrants require additional teaching so take resources from those who are citizens? Who will be advantaged and disadvantaged? Will the immigrants be prepared provide evidence in criminal trial against those from their country of origin? Will immigrants be prepared to die for this county?Where is the first loyalty of the immigrant groups?
How many immigrant groups have provided as much benefit to this country as the Huguenots?

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
11 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

The Jews have &, to a very large extent, the Hindus & Sikhs, not to mention the Chinese & other far East people. None of these groups are known for nigh benefit claims let alone violent actions against the host nations.
Nor have any of them ever DEMANDED state money to follow their religion or culture. All they have asked for is respect for their differences & the ability to practise their religions in ways which do not conflict with British law.

Last edited 11 months ago by Jacqueline Burns
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
11 months ago

Which is why they are largely welcome, respected and have been successful.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
11 months ago

Which is why they are largely welcome, respected and have been successful.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
11 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

The Jews have &, to a very large extent, the Hindus & Sikhs, not to mention the Chinese & other far East people. None of these groups are known for nigh benefit claims let alone violent actions against the host nations.
Nor have any of them ever DEMANDED state money to follow their religion or culture. All they have asked for is respect for their differences & the ability to practise their religions in ways which do not conflict with British law.

Last edited 11 months ago by Jacqueline Burns
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
11 months ago

Do the immigrants want to assimilate?Do the immigrants have the high tech skills needed?How much money will the immigrants take from the state with regard to healthcare, welfare, etc ? Will the immigrants increase demand for housing and so push up costs where people are least able to afford it? Will the children of immigrants require additional teaching so take resources from those who are citizens? Who will be advantaged and disadvantaged? Will the immigrants be prepared provide evidence in criminal trial against those from their country of origin? Will immigrants be prepared to die for this county?Where is the first loyalty of the immigrant groups?
How many immigrant groups have provided as much benefit to this country as the Huguenots?

Susan Bennett
Susan Bennett
11 months ago

My decision to vote Reform at the next election has nothing to do with immigration. Both Labour and the Conservatives are, IMHO, incapable of bringing forward any new policies. Both seem flat out of ideas. Reform says if you can’t get a GP appointment then you’ll get a voucher to go private. Same with operations. While I see that Reform is unlikely to even take one seat in parliament, ideas sometimes trickle through to the mainstream from small parties (Brexit) and someone needs to start a discussion about the NHS.

Susan Bennett
Susan Bennett
11 months ago

My decision to vote Reform at the next election has nothing to do with immigration. Both Labour and the Conservatives are, IMHO, incapable of bringing forward any new policies. Both seem flat out of ideas. Reform says if you can’t get a GP appointment then you’ll get a voucher to go private. Same with operations. While I see that Reform is unlikely to even take one seat in parliament, ideas sometimes trickle through to the mainstream from small parties (Brexit) and someone needs to start a discussion about the NHS.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
11 months ago

The author gives the number 600,000 to represent “migration”. But this is NET migration, i.e. the excess of immigration over emigration. People are concerned about immigration and the number of long-term immigrants coming to the UK in 2022 was 1.2 million. The fact that several hundred thousand British people felt, for one reason or another, that they had to leave the UK does not mitigate this.
So if the article is about concern over immigration, as the headline suggests, then please give the numbers of immigrants.

Last edited 11 months ago by Peter Kwasi-Modo
Charles Levett-Scrivener
Charles Levett-Scrivener
11 months ago

The 1.2 million includes of students that keep universities in business; the 600,000 leavers includes lots of students that have finished their courses.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
11 months ago

One in three international students in the UK is in employment (part-time during term).and the Higher Education Policy Unit says that 71% of international students plan to work in the UK. So international students are not very different from run-of-the-mill immigrants.

William Shaw
William Shaw
11 months ago

Students should be excluded from the immigration numbers.

David Harris
David Harris
11 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Why?

Matt M
Matt M
11 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

As long as they return home after their studies, they should net out with following years cohort anyway.

David Harris
David Harris
11 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Why?

Matt M
Matt M
11 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

As long as they return home after their studies, they should net out with following years cohort anyway.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
11 months ago

One in three international students in the UK is in employment (part-time during term).and the Higher Education Policy Unit says that 71% of international students plan to work in the UK. So international students are not very different from run-of-the-mill immigrants.

William Shaw
William Shaw
11 months ago

Students should be excluded from the immigration numbers.

Matt M
Matt M
11 months ago

The people leaving are not British. They are previous groups of foreign students and workers who have finished their courses and jobs. Emigration by British citizens is a tiny number and is almost exclusively to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA or Spain.
We often hear, including from this author, that 2022 was a high watermark in immigration but this misses the point that we have no idea how many people moved to the UK in the EU years as any EU citizen could move here.
As the birth rate has been below replacement level for the last 20 years during which time the population has grown by 10M according to the census, that suggests the immigration levels averaged at net 500k a year. So it is by no means certain that 2022 was special in any way. We almost certainly had higher numbers in previous years.
Not that that is a good thing.

Last edited 11 months ago by Matt M
Charles Levett-Scrivener
Charles Levett-Scrivener
11 months ago

The 1.2 million includes of students that keep universities in business; the 600,000 leavers includes lots of students that have finished their courses.

Matt M
Matt M
11 months ago

The people leaving are not British. They are previous groups of foreign students and workers who have finished their courses and jobs. Emigration by British citizens is a tiny number and is almost exclusively to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA or Spain.
We often hear, including from this author, that 2022 was a high watermark in immigration but this misses the point that we have no idea how many people moved to the UK in the EU years as any EU citizen could move here.
As the birth rate has been below replacement level for the last 20 years during which time the population has grown by 10M according to the census, that suggests the immigration levels averaged at net 500k a year. So it is by no means certain that 2022 was special in any way. We almost certainly had higher numbers in previous years.
Not that that is a good thing.

Last edited 11 months ago by Matt M
Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
11 months ago

The author gives the number 600,000 to represent “migration”. But this is NET migration, i.e. the excess of immigration over emigration. People are concerned about immigration and the number of long-term immigrants coming to the UK in 2022 was 1.2 million. The fact that several hundred thousand British people felt, for one reason or another, that they had to leave the UK does not mitigate this.
So if the article is about concern over immigration, as the headline suggests, then please give the numbers of immigrants.

Last edited 11 months ago by Peter Kwasi-Modo
D Glover
D Glover
11 months ago

In June the former Chancellor, Philip Hammond, let the veil slip on the Today programme. He wanted to relax immigration rules to cool the economy by using foreign labour to undercut the wages of British workers.
Lord Hammond said that the move could act to bring down stubbornly high inflation being driven by rising wages without the need for interest rate rises hammering homeowners
Is it any wonder the former ‘red wall’ are having buyers’ regret over the Tories?

D Glover
D Glover
11 months ago

In June the former Chancellor, Philip Hammond, let the veil slip on the Today programme. He wanted to relax immigration rules to cool the economy by using foreign labour to undercut the wages of British workers.
Lord Hammond said that the move could act to bring down stubbornly high inflation being driven by rising wages without the need for interest rate rises hammering homeowners
Is it any wonder the former ‘red wall’ are having buyers’ regret over the Tories?

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
11 months ago

I don’t see net zero as being a fringe libertarian issue – it takes time for enough people to work out that they are affected by high energy costs, ULEZ and the war on motorists.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
11 months ago

I don’t see net zero as being a fringe libertarian issue – it takes time for enough people to work out that they are affected by high energy costs, ULEZ and the war on motorists.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
11 months ago

This seems very positive but seats in parliament is the only meaningful result. All over the UK there are protests about immigration but they are not co-ordinated.
Surely, all of these issues are an ‘old versus young’ thing. NatWest seems to have lost a battle against Nigel Farage but, in reality, it has won by gaining a huge amount of free advertising. If a few percent of young people choose to open an account with NatWest, how many old people will move their accounts away? It is easy to start a new account but very difficult to cancel an old one. We need an incentive to move accounts away from NatWest.
The BBC has a team of under-30s to plan and vet their programmes; old people lose their favourite programmes or presenters, viewing figures go down – but who cares?
There are 15 million old people in Britain and they need a voice if these stupid ideas are to go away.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
11 months ago

This seems very positive but seats in parliament is the only meaningful result. All over the UK there are protests about immigration but they are not co-ordinated.
Surely, all of these issues are an ‘old versus young’ thing. NatWest seems to have lost a battle against Nigel Farage but, in reality, it has won by gaining a huge amount of free advertising. If a few percent of young people choose to open an account with NatWest, how many old people will move their accounts away? It is easy to start a new account but very difficult to cancel an old one. We need an incentive to move accounts away from NatWest.
The BBC has a team of under-30s to plan and vet their programmes; old people lose their favourite programmes or presenters, viewing figures go down – but who cares?
There are 15 million old people in Britain and they need a voice if these stupid ideas are to go away.

Jeff Watkins
Jeff Watkins
11 months ago

As a recent member of Reform the reason I will vote for them is because of their energy policy which aims to make the UK self sufficient over a ten year period. See below. I wasn’t aware of their policies on legal immigration.
*Start fraking for Shale Gas -over a £1 trillion of gas reserves
*Accelerate gas & oil exploration in North Sea
*Build High Efficiency Combined Cycle Gas Turbines
*Accelerate latest Small Modular nuclear reactors
*No more subsidized renewables – unreliable & expensive
Fix the price of UK gas

David Collier
David Collier
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Watkins

New technology is always unreliable and expensive, it becomes more reliable and less costly over time. Meanwhile the wind will continue to blow, the sun will shine (sometimes) and the waves continue to lap the shores. Or we certainly hope so. Gas, by contrast, whether under land or sea, no matter how much of it there is, is finite, over time extracting it becomes less certain and inevitably more expensive. Renewables are therefore an investment in the future, gas and oil an investment in the now. An individual might say I don’t care, I’ll be dead then so it’ll be someone else problem but for a political party to say that is downright irresponsible. I can’t believe that the people who write manifestos for Reform UK, some of them at least, aren’t aware of that; they’re just being populist, the Reform UK plans for energy are, in a word, a con. No responsible political party would ever do that, to say we don’t care about your children, think of the me, me, me. Would they?

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
11 months ago
Reply to  David Collier

But if the available methods can be used while the other alternatives are being refined and developed thus the cost of the change will be mitigated & spread out over a longer time. It is the rush to get to ‘net zero’ which is causing the problem before the alternatives are available.

David Collier
David Collier
11 months ago

Yes, though you cannot develop the technology without using it, it is need that drives the innovation. Practice makes perfect, it is unrealistic to expect to wait until something is fully developed before it is implemented, it’d never get fully developed.

Andrew F
Andrew F
11 months ago
Reply to  David Collier

But so called green energy will always be expensive because you need backup in case when wind does not blow and sun doesn’t shine.
Reality is that green policies in the West are suicidal. Other big polluters like China or India do not care, so what West does is self harm with no real impact on global warming (even if you believe it is real).
No one talks about real reason for many issues: overpopulation in Asia and Africa.
Billions of useless people devouring the planet.

Chipoko
Chipoko
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Thank you for mentioning the unmentionable: overpopulation of humans! This is a taboo topic – but it lies at the basis of every facet of the state of the environment. There were about 2.2 billion people on the Planet at the end of WW2 in 1945. Today the human population is well over 8 billion, a fact celebrated when the Planet passed that number in 2022 by the UN and its dreadful Secretary General. The rapid increase in the human population is chiefly focused in Africa which has a relatively young population with the highest birth and fertility rates in the world. For a very long time, Zimbabwe headed the list of the highest rate of population increase anywhere.
At a 2006 environment conference in London the then UK Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir David King (the keynote speaker), gave a presentation on the causes of global warming (as it was then called, before the evidence suggested possibly otherwise). Not once did he refer to the human population as a possible issue. In the Q&A session afterwards I asked him whether he considered human over-population might to be a significant factor. In front of an audience of about 2000 he sharply reprimanded me for referring to human over-population and stated: “We don’t discuss that subject anymore nowadays!” He then contemptuously dismissed my actual question as irrelevant. That’s the Woke Establishment elite for you.

David Collier
David Collier
11 months ago
Reply to  Chipoko

What, Chipoko, would you propose that the governments of the world do about that?

Chipoko
Chipoko
11 months ago
Reply to  David Collier

Well, Mr David Collier, seeing as you’ve offered no suggestions, here are a few for consideration:
Governments and the UN to invest in birth control programmes – including the availability of free condoms universally in developing countries and offering free, confidential birth control to any women who wants thisApply international political pressure to the Catholic Church to reverse its damaging anti birth control stanceInvest in the specific education and economic development of women in regions where they are treated as domestic drudges and bearers of childrenTarget western overseas aid at projects that enhance the development of education and economic development of poorer communities, rather than underpinning international trade opportunitiesEncourage the application of tax policies to reward smaller families and incentivise traditional societies that value many children to aspire to smaller, wealthier family units. Reward economic and educational productivity, not reproductivity.Direct foreign aid towards those 3rd World countries that make a serious and genuine effort to reduce fertility and birth ratesFire the UN Secretary-General who celebrated the birth of Human No. 8 Billion!I could go on.
Frankly, your sneering, condescending response to my seriously made points, and your failure to engage in meaningful discussion, is not impressive.

Chipoko
Chipoko
11 months ago
Reply to  David Collier

Well, Mr David Collier, seeing as you’ve offered no suggestions, here are a few for consideration:
Governments and the UN to invest in birth control programmes – including the availability of free condoms universally in developing countries and offering free, confidential birth control to any women who wants thisApply international political pressure to the Catholic Church to reverse its damaging anti birth control stanceInvest in the specific education and economic development of women in regions where they are treated as domestic drudges and bearers of childrenTarget western overseas aid at projects that enhance the development of education and economic development of poorer communities, rather than underpinning international trade opportunitiesEncourage the application of tax policies to reward smaller families and incentivise traditional societies that value many children to aspire to smaller, wealthier family units. Reward economic and educational productivity, not reproductivity.Direct foreign aid towards those 3rd World countries that make a serious and genuine effort to reduce fertility and birth ratesFire the UN Secretary-General who celebrated the birth of Human No. 8 Billion!I could go on.
Frankly, your sneering, condescending response to my seriously made points, and your failure to engage in meaningful discussion, is not impressive.

Kat L
Kat L
11 months ago
Reply to  Chipoko

It will never rise again to that number. The world is going to have a population collapse in the next 20-30 years.

Chipoko
Chipoko
11 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

Globally maybe, maybe not. If a net reduction occurs it will be in the western democracies where birth and fertility rates are already flat-lining.

Chipoko
Chipoko
11 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

Globally maybe, maybe not. If a net reduction occurs it will be in the western democracies where birth and fertility rates are already flat-lining.

David Collier
David Collier
11 months ago
Reply to  Chipoko

What, Chipoko, would you propose that the governments of the world do about that?

Kat L
Kat L
11 months ago
Reply to  Chipoko

It will never rise again to that number. The world is going to have a population collapse in the next 20-30 years.

Chipoko
Chipoko
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Thank you for mentioning the unmentionable: overpopulation of humans! This is a taboo topic – but it lies at the basis of every facet of the state of the environment. There were about 2.2 billion people on the Planet at the end of WW2 in 1945. Today the human population is well over 8 billion, a fact celebrated when the Planet passed that number in 2022 by the UN and its dreadful Secretary General. The rapid increase in the human population is chiefly focused in Africa which has a relatively young population with the highest birth and fertility rates in the world. For a very long time, Zimbabwe headed the list of the highest rate of population increase anywhere.
At a 2006 environment conference in London the then UK Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir David King (the keynote speaker), gave a presentation on the causes of global warming (as it was then called, before the evidence suggested possibly otherwise). Not once did he refer to the human population as a possible issue. In the Q&A session afterwards I asked him whether he considered human over-population might to be a significant factor. In front of an audience of about 2000 he sharply reprimanded me for referring to human over-population and stated: “We don’t discuss that subject anymore nowadays!” He then contemptuously dismissed my actual question as irrelevant. That’s the Woke Establishment elite for you.

Andrew F
Andrew F
11 months ago
Reply to  David Collier

But so called green energy will always be expensive because you need backup in case when wind does not blow and sun doesn’t shine.
Reality is that green policies in the West are suicidal. Other big polluters like China or India do not care, so what West does is self harm with no real impact on global warming (even if you believe it is real).
No one talks about real reason for many issues: overpopulation in Asia and Africa.
Billions of useless people devouring the planet.

David Collier
David Collier
11 months ago

Yes, though you cannot develop the technology without using it, it is need that drives the innovation. Practice makes perfect, it is unrealistic to expect to wait until something is fully developed before it is implemented, it’d never get fully developed.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
11 months ago
Reply to  David Collier

Energy has to be stored and transmitted. There is vast amounts of methane. What is crucial is energy density, the amount of energy released per kilo. Also how do the performance of batteries compare over years?

David Collier
David Collier
11 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

I cook on a gas hob. I cook on an electric one when at friends’ (for they see me coming and like to get out of the cooking for a while) and when in holiday cottages and so on but I don’t like that half so much. And yes battery technology has some way to go for storing large amounts of energy. I am by no means saying ‘Just Stop Gas’, What I’m saying is that Reform UK’s proposals for dismissing renewables would come to be seen as immensely short-sighted by future generations, were it ever to be implemented. Backward-looking.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
11 months ago
Reply to  David Collier
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
11 months ago
Reply to  David Collier
David Collier
David Collier
11 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

I cook on a gas hob. I cook on an electric one when at friends’ (for they see me coming and like to get out of the cooking for a while) and when in holiday cottages and so on but I don’t like that half so much. And yes battery technology has some way to go for storing large amounts of energy. I am by no means saying ‘Just Stop Gas’, What I’m saying is that Reform UK’s proposals for dismissing renewables would come to be seen as immensely short-sighted by future generations, were it ever to be implemented. Backward-looking.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
11 months ago
Reply to  David Collier

But if the available methods can be used while the other alternatives are being refined and developed thus the cost of the change will be mitigated & spread out over a longer time. It is the rush to get to ‘net zero’ which is causing the problem before the alternatives are available.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
11 months ago
Reply to  David Collier

Energy has to be stored and transmitted. There is vast amounts of methane. What is crucial is energy density, the amount of energy released per kilo. Also how do the performance of batteries compare over years?

David Collier
David Collier
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Watkins

New technology is always unreliable and expensive, it becomes more reliable and less costly over time. Meanwhile the wind will continue to blow, the sun will shine (sometimes) and the waves continue to lap the shores. Or we certainly hope so. Gas, by contrast, whether under land or sea, no matter how much of it there is, is finite, over time extracting it becomes less certain and inevitably more expensive. Renewables are therefore an investment in the future, gas and oil an investment in the now. An individual might say I don’t care, I’ll be dead then so it’ll be someone else problem but for a political party to say that is downright irresponsible. I can’t believe that the people who write manifestos for Reform UK, some of them at least, aren’t aware of that; they’re just being populist, the Reform UK plans for energy are, in a word, a con. No responsible political party would ever do that, to say we don’t care about your children, think of the me, me, me. Would they?

Jeff Watkins
Jeff Watkins
11 months ago

As a recent member of Reform the reason I will vote for them is because of their energy policy which aims to make the UK self sufficient over a ten year period. See below. I wasn’t aware of their policies on legal immigration.
*Start fraking for Shale Gas -over a £1 trillion of gas reserves
*Accelerate gas & oil exploration in North Sea
*Build High Efficiency Combined Cycle Gas Turbines
*Accelerate latest Small Modular nuclear reactors
*No more subsidized renewables – unreliable & expensive
Fix the price of UK gas

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago

Reform need Farage badly, now!
Another boost would be Jeremy Clarkson: they also need a serious defection of at least 10 Tory MPs, but manifestly NOT the likes of Raab and Shapps who just want to keep their jobs.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago

Reform need Farage badly, now!
Another boost would be Jeremy Clarkson: they also need a serious defection of at least 10 Tory MPs, but manifestly NOT the likes of Raab and Shapps who just want to keep their jobs.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

I’m an immigrant, and I think that immigration needs to be radically reduced.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

I’m an immigrant, and I think that immigration needs to be radically reduced.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago

I tried contacting my local Reform ” representative” with a view to speaking/ meeting, and considering becoming a candidate: the man consistently changed phone call appointments, and failed to respond to e mails: despite attempting to contact Reform again, I heard nothing. I have since met a couple of other people who have endured similar underwhelming experiences, and it has been suggested that some very lightweight existing Reform incumbents are none to keen on admitting anyone who could affect their local power?
Not impressive.

Jeff Watkins
Jeff Watkins
11 months ago

I’m sure this is because of lack of infrastructure and personnel on the ground. It is a newly formed party which relies on volunteers and small individual subscriptions and donations. Keep trying you’ll get there in the end.

Jeff Watkins
Jeff Watkins
11 months ago

I’m sure this is because of lack of infrastructure and personnel on the ground. It is a newly formed party which relies on volunteers and small individual subscriptions and donations. Keep trying you’ll get there in the end.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago

I tried contacting my local Reform ” representative” with a view to speaking/ meeting, and considering becoming a candidate: the man consistently changed phone call appointments, and failed to respond to e mails: despite attempting to contact Reform again, I heard nothing. I have since met a couple of other people who have endured similar underwhelming experiences, and it has been suggested that some very lightweight existing Reform incumbents are none to keen on admitting anyone who could affect their local power?
Not impressive.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
11 months ago

Regardless of Tice and Farage’s appeal, they’ll never find enough credible candidates; the squad lacks depth. Behind the front row it’s all Fraggle Rock. They could play a useful role in splitting the tory vote though. Good ol’ FPTP.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
11 months ago

Regardless of Tice and Farage’s appeal, they’ll never find enough credible candidates; the squad lacks depth. Behind the front row it’s all Fraggle Rock. They could play a useful role in splitting the tory vote though. Good ol’ FPTP.

Chipoko
Chipoko
11 months ago

I hope that the Reform Party secures significant support at the next general election. It is the only political party that appears reflect the concerns held by ‘ordinary’ voters.

Chipoko
Chipoko
11 months ago

I hope that the Reform Party secures significant support at the next general election. It is the only political party that appears reflect the concerns held by ‘ordinary’ voters.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
11 months ago

Reform UK has 11 council seats in the entire country, mostly acquired by defection, since it averages six per cent where it can find 10 people to sign its nomination papers. It managed only 1,332 votes even at Selby and Ainsty, where the Conservative vote went down by 21,700. It took 1,303 at Somerton and Frome, while Reclaim took 714 at Uxbridge and South Ruislip. Trivia. There is no populist Right. There is an unpopulist Right.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
11 months ago

Reform UK has 11 council seats in the entire country, mostly acquired by defection, since it averages six per cent where it can find 10 people to sign its nomination papers. It managed only 1,332 votes even at Selby and Ainsty, where the Conservative vote went down by 21,700. It took 1,303 at Somerton and Frome, while Reclaim took 714 at Uxbridge and South Ruislip. Trivia. There is no populist Right. There is an unpopulist Right.

John Greatorex
John Greatorex
11 months ago

I am suspicious of the term ‘reform’ in politics, reminds me too much of New Labour’s programme of constitutional and cultural vandalism. In the last 10 parliamentary by-elections they’ve contended, Reform have lost all their deposits. I’m not against populist right movements at all, I just don’t think Reform are very convincing.

Last edited 11 months ago by John Greatorex
David Collier
David Collier
11 months ago

Reform UK is a typical populist party, populist meaning that their views are popular with a section of the populace, but a muddle and contradictory when looked at in any detail and would stand not the slightest chance of being implemented in reality, constantly inviting the question, ‘How you going to do that then?’ Whether a purely populist party could ever gain a significant level of representation in parliament I don’t know for sure, though one thing that is for sure is that they wouldn’t last long if they did, not without a dictatorial coup, and I think, hope, that the British people as a whole are sensible enough to see that. I think they are.

polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago
Reply to  David Collier

“…but a muddle and contradictory when looked at in any detail and would stand not the slightest chance of being implemented in reality, constantly inviting the question, ‘How you going to do that then?’
An apt description of our current ruling class then, David – A self-serving, second-rate, chumocracy.

polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago
Reply to  David Collier

“…but a muddle and contradictory when looked at in any detail and would stand not the slightest chance of being implemented in reality, constantly inviting the question, ‘How you going to do that then?’
An apt description of our current ruling class then, David – A self-serving, second-rate, chumocracy.

David Collier
David Collier
11 months ago

Reform UK is a typical populist party, populist meaning that their views are popular with a section of the populace, but a muddle and contradictory when looked at in any detail and would stand not the slightest chance of being implemented in reality, constantly inviting the question, ‘How you going to do that then?’ Whether a purely populist party could ever gain a significant level of representation in parliament I don’t know for sure, though one thing that is for sure is that they wouldn’t last long if they did, not without a dictatorial coup, and I think, hope, that the British people as a whole are sensible enough to see that. I think they are.

Graeme Kemp
Graeme Kemp
11 months ago

Isn’t Reform UK a ‘market-liberal’ party? Their policies include a belief that cutting taxes will create growth (who is is advising them, Liz Truss?) – which apparently will mean more money for the NHS…I just don’t believe it will work. They may be popular on immigration control, but I’m not sure Reform UK’s economic policies will work or appeal to workers.

D Glover
D Glover
11 months ago
Reply to  Graeme Kemp

That was a sly dig at Liz Truss. Cutting taxes to stimulate growth used to be a core conservative idea.
I’m not sure what the present government are, but they’re not the conservatives. Maybe Reform are the conservatives now.

Last edited 11 months ago by D Glover
Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
11 months ago
Reply to  Graeme Kemp

I think you’re right – low taxes etc should work, but the market isn’t there yet. If Reform want to improve their standing they should campaign for better public services, better infrastructure, fairer and simpler taxation and support for business generally. Lower taxes may have to wait.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
11 months ago
Reply to  Graeme Kemp

I am not sure the NHS needs more money, & certainly not more money for its staff who seem to want to do far less for it if my own recent experiences are anything to go by!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

The NHS needs to get rid of all those gatekeepers whose job seems to be preventing sick people from getting treated.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

The NHS needs to get rid of all those gatekeepers whose job seems to be preventing sick people from getting treated.

D Glover
D Glover
11 months ago
Reply to  Graeme Kemp

That was a sly dig at Liz Truss. Cutting taxes to stimulate growth used to be a core conservative idea.
I’m not sure what the present government are, but they’re not the conservatives. Maybe Reform are the conservatives now.

Last edited 11 months ago by D Glover
Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
11 months ago
Reply to  Graeme Kemp

I think you’re right – low taxes etc should work, but the market isn’t there yet. If Reform want to improve their standing they should campaign for better public services, better infrastructure, fairer and simpler taxation and support for business generally. Lower taxes may have to wait.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
11 months ago
Reply to  Graeme Kemp

I am not sure the NHS needs more money, & certainly not more money for its staff who seem to want to do far less for it if my own recent experiences are anything to go by!

Graeme Kemp
Graeme Kemp
11 months ago

Isn’t Reform UK a ‘market-liberal’ party? Their policies include a belief that cutting taxes will create growth (who is is advising them, Liz Truss?) – which apparently will mean more money for the NHS…I just don’t believe it will work. They may be popular on immigration control, but I’m not sure Reform UK’s economic policies will work or appeal to workers.