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Revolt on the Right: Explaining Support for the Radical Right in Britain (Extremism and Democracy) Paperback – 18 Mar 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (18 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415661501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415661508
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


One of The Guardians Top Politics Books in 2014 - 'A sparky academic study of the rise of Ukip'


Revolt on the Right is a rich and insightful dissection of Britain's first new major political force in a generation. Ford and Goodwin combine rigorous yet accessible statistical analysis of UKIP's supporters with unprecedented access to party activists and leaders. They paint a detailed portrait of the social forces driving UKIP's emergence and how the party itself has developed to mobilise a new mass electorate. This book is essential reading for anyone looking to understand this fascinating, and potentially disruptive, new force in British politics. Anthony Heath, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Oxford, and Professor of Sociology, University of Manchester

Ford and Goodwin haven’t just talked to everyone who counts and crunched all the data that’s out there. They’ve produced a really approachable book on a party which, by providing disoriented and disillusioned voters with the alternative they’ve been looking for, may well make a big impact at the next election and beyond. Tim Bale, Professor of Politics, Queen Mary University of London, author of The Conservative Party: From Thatcher to Cameron

Revolt on the Right is not just a timely and fascinating book; it is also an important one: the first detailed study of one of the most significant developments in modern British politics – the rise of UKIP, which not only taps into popular discontent with the European Union, but has emerged as Britain’s first major non-toxic party to the right of the Conservatives. Peter Kellner, President of YouGov.

An essential analysis of the phenomenon that is UKIP in the run up to the 2015 General Election. Vital for anyone studying modern British politics seriously. Ben Page, Chief Executive of Ipsos MORI.

As the first serious study of the biggest challenge to the political status quo in 30 years, Revolt on the Right will be hard to better. It is both a garish picture of what the British right looks like when it has had one beer too many, and a sympathetic and occasionally touching account of the frustrations of the white working class voters progressive culture and conservative economics have decided they can do without. Nick Cohen, The Observer.

A forensic insight into the explosive rise of Britain's radical right, packed full of compelling research and first-rate analysis. A must-read for all those interested in the state of modern Britain. Owen Jones, columnist for The Independent and author of CHAVS: The Demonization of the Working Class.

This is an outstanding contribution to understanding contemporary politics: a rigorous assessment of the attitudes and demographics of UKIP voters as well as a brilliant story of the people and feuds behind the disorderly rise of a popular movement.

John Rentoul, Chief politicial commentator, The Independent on Sunday

UKIP – a quixotic project to transform UK politics or the catalyst for partisan realignment? Read Ford and Goodwin’s comprehensive and expert analysis before trying to resolve the question. Professor Michael Thrasher, The Elections Centre, Plymouth University, UK.

"This book presents an insightful and highly informative analysis of the most significant independent challenge to the existing party system in England. It is a must read for anyone interested in the future of British politics." John Curtice, Professor of politics at Strathclyde University and a research consultant for ScotCen Social Research.

 "The book is rich in analytical data and contains the occasional anecdotal gem." Kiran Stacey, Financial Times Political Correspondent

"Revolt on the Right is a must-read book for all politicians of the main parties as well as the political commentariat." - Keith Simpson, Conservative MP for Broadland and PPS to the Foreign Secretary

About the Author

Robert Ford is Lecturer in Politics in the School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK, and tweets @RobFordMancs.

Matthew Goodwin is Associate Professor in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham, UK. He is also Associate Fellow at Chatham House and tweets @GoodwinMJ.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By P. J. Dunn on 19 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback
While it’s almost impossible to produce such a study without value judgements on the underpinning ideology and policies bring analysed somehow seeping through, this book makes pretty good stab at a dispassionate analysis of where UKIP votes have come from over time.
I love the analogy that up till now many had viewed the regular UKIP success in euro elections as: “like the mythical town of Brigadoon: it emerges from the mist for one day every five years, generates great excitement, but then fades from view again as soon as polling day passes”. However the authors make a convincing case that UKIP are now drawing not just on disaffected Conservative votes but a substantial disenchanted “left behind” blue collar vote that would previously have voted for Labour or even the BNP.
While many have seen this book’s statistical analysis as focusing too much on UKIP’s surprising mounting draw on blue collar Labour voters as a sort of wake up call to Labour that is somewhat unfair. The book also acknowledges the still significant UKIP draw on disenchanted Conservatives (while saying this maybe plateauing), its ability to gain from the collapse in BNP votes, and that they are also picking up votes from those who saw the Lib Dems as the plucky outsiders before they entered government.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Neil Kernohan on 30 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If this book had been written by a couple of Fleet St political hacks with axes to grind - either for or against right wing polemics - it may have been given a rather more mixed critical reception. But you can't really argue with dispassionate academic analysis based on a range of verifiable polling statistics and other credible information sources. This explains why, as one commentator observed recently, the book is now being digested by every head scratching special adviser and election strategist right across the Westminster village.

The authors have clarified why many so people have loosened their ties and allegiances with the major parties, especially Labour and the Conservatives, both of whom are now perceived as mainly about pursuing and protecting the interests of their respective elites, big business and the politically correct metropolitan liberal minded chattering classes. The book identifies the various groups who now make up the so called "left behind" and thoroughly fed-up voters, including blue collar white working class people who were basically ignored by New Labour for 10 years, ex-Thatcherite "white van men" and others who feel that their sense of Britishness has been unfairly scorned and who never really bought into globalisation, European integration, multi-culturalism, and the benefits of unrestricted immigration.

The book is extremely good on UKIP's rise from a coffee house debating club to a major electoral force in British politics, their ultimate defeat of the BNP at local level, the internal fratricides, leadership changes and the development of grass roots campaigning and core messages about EU withdrawal, opposition to uncontrolled immigration and suspicion of the Westminster elites.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Phil Symmons on 24 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback
The first sections of the book deal with the tortuous development of UKIP. I do not doubt that the account is accurate and it is quite as detailed as anyone might want. The main part of the book is an analysis of opinion polls and like data. This, the authors claim, shows that UKIP support comes from the “older blue-collar workers with little education and few skills who have been “left behind”” and who have been ignored by the main Parties. There are details I would question but I accept that the conclusion is correct. The analysis is long-winded and repetitive; the statement about the group that has been “left behind” is made time and time again. This is just tedious but the assertion that UKIP is, “not a second home disgruntled Tories” is a fundamental error. When the Conservative MPs Carswell and Reckless defected to UKIP and decided to stand for re-election, they expected to garner the votes of many former Conservatives, and so in the event they did. In the Heyword and Middleton by election the Conservative vote declined from that at the General Election although the Labour share remained unchanged. In the coming General Election UKIP will have to appeal to two very different constituencies. Even the blue-collar, left-behind group is not homogeneous; Ford and Goodwin show that it contains former members of the extreme right British National Party and others with similar views, as well as working class former Labour and Conservative voters.
The authors’ analysis of the “left behind” group is to my mind inadequate. F and G resort to a hypothetical UKIP supporter. “John” resents immigrants, wants out of the E U, thinks politicians corrupt and blames them for the recession, terrorism, “kids running riot” and so on. What “John” is complaining about is simply change.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Christabelle on 10 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this well-researched and evidence-based study of where UKIP came from, who is supporting them and why, as well as how far they may be able to go, particularly given the huge challenge posed to any new, insurgent party by the British `first past the post' electoral system. This is not a polemic. It's scholarly but it's definitely accessible to the general reader who is interested in politics and society. I felt that the authors very effectively concealed any personal feelings that they may have regarding UKIP and its rise. I found the book a little repetitive at times, but maybe this is an unfair criticism; it's a studious work that is at pains to be evidence-based, which maybe makes some repetition necessary.

The book, first published in March 2014, could already do with a little update, given that UKIP's support has since then again soared in the polls and they now have their first MP in Westminster, with quite likely a second to follow in the next couple of weeks.

One of the most interesting chapters, for me, was chapter 3, which looks at the social and political origins of this `revolt on the right'. The authors deal with the change, from around 1964 to the present, in the relative size of the middle class and the working class, leading mainstream political parties, both in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, to, on the whole, increasingly marginalise the traditional interests of the latter (strong state intervention to help those in need, redistribution, workers' rights, etc.), in favour of championing the concerns of the burgeoning and influential middle class (issues such as the environment, human rights, civil liberties and global social justice).
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