One of the biggest fallacies in Brexit Britain comes from UKIP. They seem to reason that the UK voted in favour of what UKIP has as their vision of the United Kingdom. They seem to think that despite only having 12.6% of the popular vote in 2015, that the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union was a resounding acceptance of UKIP beliefs and mantras. Unfortunately for UKIP, as Labour holding onto Stoke-on-Trent central proves, the Brexit vote was not out of support for the likes of Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall but out of dismay with the status quo. Much more of a protest vote against the current way of governing than a movement towards what UKIP want.
Britain voting to leave the EU has left what was essentially a single issue party, the clue is in the name here, looking and sounding a little bit lost. With the populist Nigel Farage an ever looming presence, any other leader struggles to emerge from his shadow in part because he seems reluctant to let them. Enter Paul Nuttall, a man who has tried every trick in the book to appeal to the masses, and tried to claim every lie regardless of how audacious and dark it may be. Reaching the lows of lying about losing close friends in the Hillsborough disaster was probably not too much of a jump for a man who was content in lying to the masses about the perks of Brexit.
With Stoke, Nuttall out his neck on the line as party leader in order to try and win a first seat for UKIP. Ultimately he failed, despite running a hideous campaign in which he tried to ride on the coat tails of the Brexit result. Claiming that a Corbyn lead Labour would try to keep us in the EU was a ridiculous accusation, not least because Corbyn has been ineffective in battling the May lead Brexit and seems happy to leave the EU himself. But more importantly this proved one thing, that Brexit is not as important to the British people as UKIP would have wanted to, and hoped, to believe.
The issue with a single issue party is that people know you have one primary concern and belief and the others are somehow interconnected but not as important. With UKIP this means that independence from the EU was the main concern and the implications this had on economics and immigration were secondary but needless to say would be beneficial in the eyes of UKIP. However, once the party name is achieved then what? Nationalism and appealing to patriotism is all well and good, but UKIP will be forever associated with UK independence but never seen as the reason for it.
With this in mind it looks likely we will see the relative demise of UKIP. Their role is done, they have won the argument they wanted to win and now are the manifestation of the Trump supporter in the UK. They could still mobilise, they could look to capitalise on Brexit and set themselves apart from Labour and the Tories. They could hoover up the support of the disenfranchised Labour supporter who is fed up of Corbyn and has a nationalistic streak. However, this is not what they are doing, instead they are claiming a victory that was won by people outside of their party as their own and claiming to be the voice of Brexit Britain in doing so. They never were and they never will be.