X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Features

The most shocking thing about young Ukip supporters: they’re normal

I went expecting to find mustard trousers. I found down-to-earth ex-Labour voters

24 May 2014

9:00 AM

24 May 2014

9:00 AM

Close your eyes and imagine a young Ukip voter. Let me guess: mustard trousers, swivel eyes and foaming mouth, ranting furiously about the European Union, socialism, ‘lib-tards’ and so on.

Now meet Dayle Taylor, a young Ukipper working at McDonald’s in Accrington. He’s no fruitloop, just a typical modern student who grills Big Macs to pay his way through university and feels that none of the major parties speak for him. What distinguishes him from your average British youth is a lack of apathy about politics. ‘I’m always encouraging Ukippers at McDonald’s,’ he says, ‘and I build up a rapport with the regulars who say they haven’t voted before but will lend their support to Ukip on 22 May.’

Like many of Ukip’s newest recruits, Dayle comes from a working-class Labour family. He was firmly on their side as a boy, until he came to the conclusion that Labour had ‘deserted their core voters’. He turned to Ukip and has never looked back. He’s now a regional chairman of Young Independence, the party’s youth wing. Young Independence was founded seven years ago and is growing fast: it has some 2,000 members and 20 university branches. It represents about 5 per cent of Ukip’s overall membership.

[Alt-Text]


At the party’s annual conference in 2007, a dozen young Kippers were thrown out of the conference and barred from a Telford hotel for drunkenness. Ukip apparently leaked the story because, according to one party source, ‘No one would believe we had young members.’ At last year’s conference hundreds of under-25s turned up to listen, cheer and grin for the TV cameras.

Young Ukippers tend to be more libertarian than their older brethren, and more libertine. Olly Neville, the second chair of YI, was thrown out of Ukip for being supportive of gay marriage (at odds with party policy) and asking in an article ‘What is wrong with necrophilia?’ Sean Howlett, one of the party’s rising stars, was caught by a Sunday Mirror exposé proclaiming he had been to Essex ‘twice in my life, twice too many’.

DayleT
Dayle Taylor (right) campaigning for Ukip in Chester

I asked Harry Aldridge, who founded Young Independence ten years ago, what first attracted him and his fellow young Kippers to join the party. ‘I felt national politics was a bit stale. Everyone was arguing over minor details and there are no big ideas anymore. The radical idealism of younger people draws them towards Ukip,’ he says.

According to YouGov, 13 per cent of those intending to vote Ukip at the European elections are aged 18 to 24 — two percentage points more than for the Green party. Jack Duffin, a 22-year-old student at Brunel University, is the current chair of Young Independence and recently stood to be Ukip’s first representative in the National Union of Students. At one time, Jack was a young Tory activist, but he lost the faith. His sticking point is not Cameron’s support for the same-sex marriage act, but Tony Blair’s higher education reforms. ‘The 50 per cent target [for university] destroyed everything,’ he says. ‘Apprenticeships dried up because so many people were told you’ve now got to go to university.’ As YI chair he is trying to head an awareness campaign for those under-25s left behind by the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems.

Michael Heaver, a 24-year-old candidate for the European Parliament, is another example of a no-nonsense young Kipper.  Like Jack, he blames Labour for deserting his generation. ‘Labour have abandoned normal working-class people who have seen what’s been done [to Britain] particularly since Blair. For a lot of the young people, that was a major wake-up call.’

These young Ukip campaigners are probably the most normal, diverse and energetic youngsters I’ve encountered in politics. Some are caught up in the excitement and momentum that Ukip has generated in the past few years; others are now committed to the party, in it for the long haul. Unless the political parties can find an answer to these youthful ‘left-behinds’, the young Kippers are here to stay.

Sebastian Payne is online editor of The Spectator.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close