Finding the next Farage: UKIP's leadership crisis
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This week saw another high-profile political resignation. The only saving grace about this one is that Nigel Farage is finally (hopefully) on his way out, but I wouldn’t hold your breath that he’ll be off the TV for too long... But now the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) faces a huge dilemma. Who can replace Nigel? Whether you agree with his politics or not, it is difficult to find somebody in the political spotlight who has as much charisma as the former UKIP leader. His numerous appearances on question time, radio talk shows and even with Steph and Dom from Gogglebox have been, in my opinion, the making of the brand ‘Nigel Farage’ – so how can a party with a small amount of little known figures keep hold of their 3 million strong voting base with a new leader?
Yes, I know – I've raised a few questions already, but it shows just how difficult this choice must be.Now I’m not just a politics student, I’m a current affairs geek as well. So even when someone who is as actively interested in the topic of politics as me struggles to name but a few UKIP front runners, I can imagine the rest of Britain would struggle just as much. Now the obvious choice would have to be UKIP’s only Member of Parliament, Douglas Carswell, solely on the basis of him being the most senior member of the party with an electoral mandate. However, Farage gained a lot of his support through the image that he created of being an ordinary person separate from the political elite, who went and had too many pints at the weekend, made no secret about smoking cigarettes and stood up for the hard working British bloke (let’s be honest UKIP has basically ignored women). I doubt a position that once was held by one of the most outlandish and ear catching politicians could be replaced by Carswell, who may have the political acumen needed for the job, but has not come close to the outspoken persona that UKIP supporters have come to crave. If Carswell were to take the job then I think we may see a more auto-tuned message coming from UKIP and also possibly a much needed stray away from the topic of immigration. And, fortunately, I think we’d see a decrease in their media presence.
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