What can we learn from the party of “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”?

16th May 2014

Annabelle Huet reports on Joe Twyman’s lecture on Europe, the European Elections and the Rise of UKIP at the Constitution Unit 

751 members of the European Parliament will be elected from 28 countries between 22nd and 25th May 2014. On May 22nd Britain will vote for 73 members in total – the third highest proportion of members after Germany and France. Yet most voters are only vaguely aware of the consequences of their choice on European affairs. People and political analysts alike seem more interested in discussing the rise of UKIP, the UK’s foremost anti-establishment and Eurosceptic party, than the future of EU policy.

At the latest UCL Constitution Unit Seminar Joe Twyman, a founding director of YouGov, presented statistics that show that there is indeed a reason for this interest. This time, “the rise of UKIP” is much more striking than what has been observed during previous elections. Why? Because UKIP has gained a 10% overall rise in the polls and is currently predicted to surpass even the Conservatives next Thursday. Less than two weeks before the vote, YouGov’s polls show an estimated 31% of the electorate are intending to vote for UKIP. This would translate to 30 UKIP seats in the European Parliament, more than twice as many as they currently have. Statistics from previous cycles show a return to low levels of support for UKIP shortly after European elections took place, but this time Twyman predicts support for UKIP could well remain high until next year’s general election.

Continue reading

Video: The Euro Crisis and its Implications for European Institutions (Charles Grant)

Charles Grant (Centre for European Reform)

Date and Time: Wednesday 13 June, 6.00pm
Venue: Council Room, The Constitution Unit

The euro crisis has led not only to new EU treaties, but also to profound power shifts among various member-states and the EU institutions. The European Commission has never been so weak, while Germany has never been so strong.

Co-founder and director of the Centre for European Reform Charles Grant will discuss the implications of the ongoing crisis for the way European institutions operate. He is a former Brussels correspondent for the Economist and the author of many publications on the EU, as well as a former director of the British Council.

Events you might be interested in…

***PLEASE NOTE THESE EVENTS ARE NOT ORGANISED BY THE CONSTITUTION UNIT. FOLLOW THE LINKS FOR FURTHER DETAILS***

Inside Story: How the Coalition WorksProf Robert Hazell
Prof Robert Hazell & Dr Ben Yong

Date: Thursday 24 November, 5.00pm
Venue: Room 106, Roberts Building, Torrington Place, WC1E 7JE

Robert Hazell and Ben Yong have been conducting a 12 month research project,funded by the Nuffield Foundation, into how the coalition government works.

They have interviewed over 140 ministers, officials, advisers and parliamentarians. They are now writing up their findings in a book, to be published in the New Year. In this talk they will present their main findings; discuss the difficulties of this kind of qualitative research; and ask why political science has so little to say about how coalitions work in practice.

Further information: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/spp/seminars

Jack StrawBritain & Europe
Prof Jack Straw MP

Date: Tuesday 6 December, 6.00pm
Venue: Anatomy JZ Young Lecture Theatre, UCL

Jack Straw is Visiting Professor, UCL Political Science and MP for Blackburn. He has held several senior Cabinet positions, including Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Justice Secretary

His inaugural lecture will address the theme of ‘Britain and Europe’. Sir Stephen Wall will act as discussant and Prof Robert Hazell will chair.

More information and online booking: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/public-policy/events/Jack_Straw/index