Robert Ford, professor of politics at the University of Manchester, said some of Ukip’s recent rise in the polls could be down to voters not realising how much the party had changed.
As an openly far-right organisation, Ford said, Ukip could be “too radioactive” to pick up disaffected Tory voters, who could instead be tempted by Farage. “If Ukip end up as BNP 2.0,” he said, “there’s a very low popularity ceiling on that.”
However, Ford added, the party could thrive instead as a street-focused protest group: “The next couple of years are going to be very, very unpredictable in British politics. Brexit currently occupies all the space in media and politics, and no one quite knows what’s going to rush in when that space is finally vacated.”