Home Featured What Nigel Farage learned from the American right – POLITICO
What Nigel Farage learned from the American right – POLITICO

What Nigel Farage learned from the American right – POLITICO

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Many observers believe the next Tory leader will have no choice but to try to unite the fractured British right, either by bringing the two parties together in coalition or by inviting Farage into the Tory party itself. Either way, Farage would suddenly have genuine clout within mainstream conservatism — and a chance to start permanently reshaping the British right.

Richard Johnson, senior lecturer in U.S. politics at Queen Mary University London, drew a clear parallel with Trump’s rapid cannibalization of the Republican Party. Reviled by many in the party when he first entered the race, Trump’s eventual emergence as the Republican candidate and victor have transformed the GOP into something entirely new.

“Farage can look at Trump and see someone who was sort of outside the center-right establishment, but then comes in, becomes the leader of a traditional center-right party, and then, in effect, reorient[s] that party in a very different direction,” Johnson said.

Johnson also noted a similar dynamic at work in both parties, where existing elected officials were largely skeptical of Trump and Farage —“but the grassroots and membership are much more open to these figures.”

Trump and Farage also have a shared past in the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). | Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Indeed, so popular is Farage with grassroots Tory members that political insiders have predicted he would triumph if his name appeared on the ballot of a Conservative leadership contest, which is decided by the membership of the party from a shortlist of two.

Douglas Carswell, a former Tory MP for Clacton who defected to UKIP in 2014, now leads the Mississippi Center for Public Policy.

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