Now new data from a survey conducted by IPPR with Cardiff and Edinburgh universities shows that English identity is not just getting stronger, it is becoming politicised.
What can account for UKIP’s remarkable surge in support in these
elections? The conventional wisdom is that UKIP is now the ‘go to’ party
for protest voters. Angry over Europe and immigration? Vote UKIP. Fear
for your job and the future of the economy? Vote UKIP. Feel the main
parties are ‘all the same’, run by metropolitan elites who don’t know
how ordinary people live? Vote UKIP.
There is doubtless something in all of the above, but there is
perhaps another explanation – overlooked until now – for UKIP’s rise:
the growing tide of English patriotism.