Blue and Red Ukip profiled: The two tribes at the heart of Nigel Farage's party

 
Guy Bentley
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The party is increasingly subject to a divide (Source: Getty)

Ever since Ukip began to breach double digits consistently in the polls and win over councillors and MEPs beyond its southern heartlands, the makeup of Ukip supporters has shifted.

Back in the old days Ukip voters were almost entirely made up of ex Conservatives and those who hadn't voted before. But with an increasingly aggressive strategy of reaching out to voters in the Midlands and the North, a hefty chunk of Ukip support now comes from traditional Labour voters.

New data from pollster YouGov gives us an insight into what it calls "the two tribes of Ukip." The divide is between those voters who were formerly Conservatives of right-leaning and those who used to vote Labour. These two groups are popularly known as "red" and "blue" Ukip.

Blue Ukip is overwhelmingly concentrated in the South East, while red Ukippers reside in the North. The Midlands is evenly split between the two.

Red Ukip supporters put traditional left-wing issues like re-nationalising utilities and railways at the top of their domestic concerns, while blue Ukip voters like the party's stand against what they perceive to be political correctness and multiculturalism.

However, it isn't just politics where the two camps diverge. Ukip's two tribes have radically different cultural tastes in terms of their favourite celebrities and TV shows: blue Ukip puts Margaret Thatcher and Boris Johnson among their top-rated celebs. Their red counterparts were more likely to name Piers Morgan and Michael Barrymore among their favourite stars.

Many ex-Labour voters who feel let down by their party on issues such as Europe and immigration have found their concerns are shared by Nigel Farage's formerly Thatcherite party. Farage has spent considerable effort courting Labour's vote outside London, promising to abolish the so-called bedroom tax, crackdown on zero hours contracts and attack further private sector involvement in the NHS.

This has led to something of a tension between the two wings of the party. While both may support EU withdrawal and stricter limits on immigration, economic issues and some social issues can be subject to intense debate. Libertarian stalwarts like Clacton-on-Sea MP Douglas Carswell may find it increasingly difficult not to clash with the party's more anti-business tendencies.

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