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In the wake of the UKIP conference in Westminster this weekend, the party and its leadership seem to be showing a conscious desire to mature in the minds of UK voters.
The controversial party has been subject to ridicule and deconstructive attacks since their success in the council elections this year, as the population responded to their rise in popularity and other parties launch an offensive against an increasingly popular party that steals votes from them. Yet, recent news shows that UKIP have a strong wish to establish themselves as a serious party, sensitive to the population’s views, and not just one of extreme views.
Nothing makes this more apparent than the exit from the increased condemnation of Godfrey Bloom from his own party, and his decision to step down as a representative of the party in the European parliament. As a senior member of the party, Godfrey probably faced some behind-the-scenes nudging, with the ultimate result that he stepped down from the position, despite Farage stating that he didn’t want to see Bloom ‘hounded out of the party.’ Essentially, Bloom was damaging the party’s already tainted image – one that Farage wants to see UKIP leave behind – as the European and General elections approach in the next two years.
Now, the party are still far from establishing themselves as a major and dominant party in Westminster (though, not Europe), but the understanding that their political figures are making unpopular and offensive remarks and their response to this will reduce their outrageousness. And as this is reduced, their appeal to the public will grow. Couple that with their policies on HS2, Syria and (ill informed as it is) immigration, the chances of UKIP becoming a major player in Westminster politics is not too farfetched.
UKIP, like the Greens, are revelling in the dissatisfaction with the dominant three parties. Their rhetoric on Europe, immigration and their distance, politically, from Labour and the Tories make them an attractive choice to apathetic voters. As the support for the party increases, it will inspire further further support for the party, allowing them to break into Westminster.
The loss of Bloom as a representative of the party shows that UKIP want to drop the unnecessary criticism their party gets. The only criticism that the party is open to, now, is that which is focused on their policies, much like other parties.. UKIP have some ludicrous policies and terrible history but their prevalence n British politics is only around the corner and we should be prepared. With the party dropping the main perpetrator of their blunders, they’re only bound to gain more respect, voter backing and success.