, 16 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Theres a lot to unpack here, so let's get started

UKIP as a party started out with an extremely narrow focus back in the early 1990s: win enough seats in #EP94 (as it wasn't called then) that when it didn't take them, it'd cause a crisis & thus UK withdrawal

When this cunning plan didn't work, there was a shift to taking up seats to use them as a platform to expose the bad things about EU and UK's membership thereof

That made a small impression, but it was the broadening of the party's policies from the mid-2000s that saw the big break-through, aided by more financing and the glitter of some big names (and Kilroy)

The UKIP that made such an impression from 2009 to 2015/6 was one that talked more and more about immigration, and about the failure of the System to work for the left-behinds: the EU element became a means to an end rather than an end in itself

But #EUref highlighted how much UKIP was still treated as a party based on the membership Q: the success of Leave was also the bell tolling for the party

Since 2016 UKIP has gone through more leaders and approaches than at any stage since its formation, none of which have really stuck or resonated with the public

All of which is to raise the Q of Farage of "which UKIP?" is his new gig like?

Assuming he means "the one you all loved so much, back when I was in charge", then he's going about it in an odd way

That UKIP was the one that moved furthest from defining itself as solely a withdrawalist party, mainly because its leader (a Mr N Farage) recognised the limited potential of that one idea

So why then join a party that is even more narrowly pinned down by its name, which'll have the competition with the party with the name recognition (UKIP), and nothing to differentiate it on policy?

In this, the answer has to be Farage himself. The relationship with UKIP as a party was never that happy, so this his chance to make things as he would have them (esp. given the recent resignations of snr people in the Brexit Party)

All of which is to say that we will get to see whether Farage's charisma is enough to offset the multiple structural disadvantages his party faces.

At a first glance, one might consider that unlikely, if only because he doesn't make nearly as much weather as in 2014

However, it's a bizarre time in British politics and we still have to see how all the other parties tackle #EP2019

That said, hard to see how UKIP don't pitch as hard as they can into this, as this their last best hope of keeping a profile

Tl;dr you can't step in the same river twice

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