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Policy Brief

Europe Program

Vol. 2, No. 4

June 2015
Policy Challenge: It is misleading
to evaluate the impact of
the anti-EU United Kingdom
Independence Party (UKIP)
solely on its one seat won during
the May 7, 2015 U.K. election.
It earned its 12.6 percent
share of total votes thanks
to an appealing message, its
organizational effectiveness, and
the disenchantment of voters
with mainstream parties. UKIPs
success further perpetuates the
fragmentation of British party
politics, will keep the immigration
issue on the agenda for years,
and puts European policymakers
in a strategic dilemma.
Policy Recommendations:
UKIPs anti-EU rhetoric thrives
in spite of the Tories promise to
hold an in-and-out referendum
(Brexit) after negotiations
with European partners. A
symbolic Tory victory would
increase UKIPs leverage over
anti-EU forces in Britain, but
hamper much-needed European
integration in the short term.
Accommodating too few of the
Tories demands could lead to
a Brexit vote in 2017, or to the
forging of a British government
in 2020 that wants to quit the
EU for good. European partners
negotiating with David Cameron
must carefully weigh short-term
versus long-term implications.
1744 R Street NW
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How the United Kingdom Independence


Partys One Seat Has the Power to Change
British and European Politics
by Timo Lochocki

Introduction
With a 12.6 percent share of total
votes in the United Kingdoms May 7,
2015 elections, the right-wing populist United Kingdom Independence
Party (UKIP) finished in a remarkable third place in overall votes.
However, the British first-past-thepost system prevented the anti-EU
party from gathering more than one
seat in Parliament. With the Tories
scoring 36.9 percent of the national
votes, they won 331 out of 650 seats
and were able to form a single-party
government under Prime Minister
David Cameron.
While UKIPs surge in voter support
has no direct impact on the forming
British government, its impact on
British and European politics should
not be underestimated. The party can
rely on substantial voter support, a
consolidated organizational structure, an appealing message, and a
fragmented political establishment
that a substantial portion of British
voters distrust. UKIPs rise will leave
three marks on British and European
politics:

It will propel the fragmentation


of the political scene in the U.K.
further;
It will keep the immigration issue
salient until the election in 2020;
and
It will forge a strong anti-EU
party (either the Tories without
David Cameron or UKIP) if the
prime minister does not succeed
in reclaiming a substantial degree
of national competencies from the
EU in the eye of the British voters.
UKIPs Professionalization:
Nigel Farages Legacy
Since the early 1990s, UKIP and the
BNP (British National Party) have
competed for the political space to
the right of the conservative Tories.
Distancing itself from fascism and
open racism is one of the prime
reasons why UKIP won this race with
ease in 2015.1 Nigel Farage, UKIPs
party leader from 2006 through the
recent elections (with a brief pause in
2009-10), is the face of UKIPs rise. He
1 New Statesman (April 18, 2014), Welcome to
Militant England, http://www.newstatesman.com/
politics/2014/04/welcome-militant-england.

Europe Program

Policy Brief
purged the party of fascist elements, consolidated internal
structures, increased party membership from 16,000 in
2006 to 36,000 in 2014 and extended UKIPs program from
a single-issue pressure group into a professional electoral
force over recent years.

nation to external forces such as the European Union and/


or migrants, while blaming the established political forces
for putting British culture and identity into jeopardy.

The more UKIP professionalized, the more it became


attractive to disappointed Tories who are fed up with the
liberal Conservatism of David Cameron, to quote Farage.2
From the mid 2000s onwards, Tory politicians began
defecting to UKIP on the regional level, as much as conservative businessmen started to support UKIP with substantial individual donations. These donations are crucial, as
the top-ten individual endowments account for 57 percent
of UKIPs collected donations and the two most important
donors formerly supported the Tories.3

1. The European Union is portrayed as the symbolic


external threat par excellence that can be scapegoated
for the poor state of the economy and high immigration figures. This allows UKIP to boil down highly
complex political questions into simple campaign
slogans, allegedly bearing solutions.

At the same time, UKIP gained support in the British press.


Conservative quality newspapers like the Daily Mail and
the Daily Telegraph and the tabloids of Ruport Murdochs
media empire treat UKIP and the Tories similarly.4 While
British tabloids do not prefer UKIP over the Tories in their
reporting, in April 2015, the month before the general elections, Richard Desmond, the owner of the Daily Express,
Sunday Express, Daily Star, and Daily Sunday, donated in
total 1.3 million (1.8 million) to Farages party.5
UKIPs Program: Get Out of the EU,
and All Will be Fine!
UKIPs campaigning message rests on three distinct topics:
the anti-EU-message, the anti-immigration agenda, and the
general loathing of all political parties and elites. UKIPs
prime message Get out of the EU, and all will be fine!
stands in direct competition with David Camerons take
on keeping Britain in a reformed EU. UKIP presents itself
as being the only political force that does not sell out the
2 Ford, R. and Goodwin, M. (2014), Revolt on the Right. Explaining Support for the Radical Right in Britain. Routledge, 61-106
3 The two most important individual donors are Paul Sykes and Stuart Wheeler. Financial Times (February 16, 2015), Stuart Wheeler restores cash flow but says UKIP will
still fall short, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/bbce45fa-ac7f-11e4-9aaa-00144feab7de.
html#axzz3XYnYCMb0.
4 Breitbart (April 2, 2015), The Sun Newspaper Boss Ruport Murdoch Calls it for Farage, http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/04/02/the-sun-newspaper-bossmurdoch-calls-it-for-farage/.
5 The Guardian (April 17, 2015), Daily Express owner Richard Desmond hands Ukip
1m, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/16/daily-express-owner-richarddesmond-ukip-donation.

The anti-EU message is critical for UKIP for three reasons:

2. In defining the EU as the prime problem, all


established political parties that for the most part
support EU membership be it Labour, the Liberal
Democrats, or the Conservatives can be accused
of selling out the interest of the common man.
Anti-EU messaging allows UKIP to merge its nationalism with an anti-elite agenda.
3. Under the auspices of this anti-EU rhetoric, UKIP can
attract voters with rather different concerns united in
their dread of the European Union. These voters are
mostly not single-issue Euroskeptics, but can instead
be characterized as Brussels-plus, fusing hostility
to the EU with potent domestic concerns.6 However,
they link these domestic concerns with the alleged
influence of the EU. As such, the EU topic might not
be their prime concern, but they agree on defining the
EU as the root of most domestic British challenges:
immigration and the state of the economy.

UKIP presents itself as being the


only political force that does not
sell out the nation to external
forces such as the European
Union and/or migrants.
6 Ford/Goodwin (2014), 194.

Europe Program

Policy Brief
UKIP promulgates the vision of a United Kingdom freed
of immigrants and the impact of the EU, one that is a
blossoming society and an economic powerhouse. The
partys election manifesto calls for a point system to select
migrants based on skills and attributes, to set up a migration commission to control the numbers of migrants from
the EU, and to deny migrants the ability to claim social
benefits in the first five years of residence in the U.K..
Given that Title IV of the Treaty of the Functioning of the
European Union (TFEU) and the European Parliament and
Council Directive 2004/38/EC forbid any limitation of free
movement of people within the EU, UKIP wants to cast a
referendum to leave the EU and to renegotiate new trade
agreements with the EU after. UKIP postulates that a Brexit
would be stimulating the British economy, and has said it
would make use of these projected revenues by increasing
the budget of the National Health Services front line
service by 3 billion (4.2 billion) per year and decreasing
Britains public debt.7
With regards to foreign policy, UKIP imagines the reinvigoration of the British Commonwealth. The party says
Great Britain should act as independent power interacting
with other powerful nation states, mainly connected to
the world via trade, and not binding political agreements.8
Consequently, UKIP neither embraces the special relationship with the United States, nor close ties with key EU
countries like France and Germany. UKIP portrays Russian
President Vladimir Putin in positive terms,9 is sympathetic
with Russias invasion of the Ukraine, and blames the
EU for the unfortunate developments in Eastern Europe,
including the war in Ukraine. 10 According to the UKIP
MEP Janice Atkinson, the EU has no right to interfere in
Ukraine.11

UKIPs Electoral Basis: New, Old Labour


UKIPs take on foreign policy is as appealing to Labour
voters as it is to disappointed Tories. As early as 2013,
Farage analyzed the potential of UKIP tapping into
Labours traditional constituencies: In four or five years
time, if you come to see me, UKIP will be a party that has
far more Labour support than Tory support. Thats where
its going. I can see it. I can feel it. Maybe its the old traditional Labour socialist party thats got the biggest problem
in this country.12 Studies indicate that workers male,
a little older but average, lower education and no migration background show a far higher probability to vote
for UKIP than for other parties.13 While UKIPs program
might have more similarities with the Tories program, the
social composition of UKIP voters is far closer to that of
the Labour party.14 In the 2015 election, UKIP was strongest in regions with the largest concentrations of white
working-class voters.15
The uniting element of voter groups sympathizing with
UKIP is social-conservatism a melange of craving
for higher levels of social security and cultural nostalgia.
Previous Tory voters might mainly sympathize with UKIP
for their nostalgic ideas of restoring the United Kingdom as
independent world power outside the EU. Former Labour

The uniting element of voter


groups sympathizing with UKIP
is social-conservatism a
melange of craving for higher
levels of social security and

7 UKIP Election Manifesto, http://www.ukip.org/ukip_manifesto_summary.


8 Tournier-Sol, K. (2015), Reworking the Eurosceptic and Conservative Traditions into a
Populist Narrative: UKIPs Winning Formula? Journal of Common Market Studies 53(1).
9 The Guardian (March 31, 2014), Nigel Farage: I admire Vladimir Putin, http://www.
theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/31/farage-i-admire-putin.
10 The Telegraph (March 27, 2014), Nick Clegg: Nigel Farage is siding with Vladimir
Putin, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ukip/10726289/Nick-Clegg-NigelFarage-is-siding-with-Vladimir-Putin.html.
11 Euroactiv (January 16, 2015), UKIP blames MEPs and Verhofstadt for deaths of
Ukrainians, http://www.euractiv.com/sections/uk-europe/ukip-blames-meps-andverhofstadt-deaths-ukrainians-311352.

cultural nostalgia.
12 Ford/Goodwin (2014), 177.
13 Ford/Goodwin (2014), 153.
14 British Election Studies (2004-2013), http://www.britishelectionstudy.com.
15 The Guardian (May 10, 2015), Where the votes switched and why: the key
lessons for the parties, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/10/election2015-where-the-votes-switched-and-why http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/
may/10/election-2015-where-the-votes-switched-and-why http://www.theguardian.com/
politics/2015/may/10/election-2015-where-the-votes-switched-and-why.

Europe Program

Policy Brief
voters seem to be attracted by UKIPs pledges to shut down
the borders from EU migrants, who are perceived as major
economic threat by some British workers. Both groups
seem to have been alienated by the liberal Conservatism
of the Tories and the multicultural, open-borders, and
pro-European positions of previous Labour governments.
These voters want their cherished regional and national
customs and traditions to be protected from external influences. Disenchanted with Labours and the Tories policies
over immigration and the EU, these left behinds joined
UKIP.16 Similar to developments in other European countries, the right-wing populist UKIP now mainly relies on
support from the working classes,17 and so can be referred
to as new, old Labour.

The Tories meandering on

UKIPs Final Door Opener:


The Tories Lost Gamble Over Europe
The Tories meandering on European matters is vital
for UKIPs increase in voter support. Before 2012, the
Tories campaigned on clear anti-EU messages, which
legitimized UKIPs anti-EU stance later. In autumn 2009,
David Cameron, in his role as party leader of the British
Conservatives (and soon to be prime minister), announced
a referendum if the Lisbon treaty has not been ratified
when they come to power, and not let matters rest if it
had been.18 In October 2009, The Daily Telegraph reported
that the Tories threatened Europes leaders that they
face a five-year war with Britain if they installed Tony
Blair as new European president.19 Cameron maintained
the Tories positions on renegotiating British membership with the EU after becoming prime minister, culminating on October 30, 2010 with his declaration: Im a
Euroskeptic.20

The end of 2012 was the first time UKIPs share in the polls
grew substantially since 2009. The party increased from
3 percent national support from 2009 to 5 percent at the
end of 2012. UKIP gathered even more voter support in
2013, polling a remarkable 13 percent as Cameron made
clear that he wanted Britain to stay in a reformed EU.23
In January 2013, conservative MPs spread the rumor that
the prime minister would campaign on a pro-EU position
regardless of how a possible renegotiation between London
and Brussels regarding repatriation of powers turned out.24
Cameron responded by offering to schedule a referendum
on such a renegotiated relationship for 2017 if the Conservatives win the national election in 2015,25 (a proposal that
was admittedly similar to his undelivered promise to hold
a popular vote on the Lisbon Treaty after winning the 2010
election).

After seizing government in 2010, the Tories had limited


scope for EU-skeptical positions due to their pro-European
coalition partner and met fierce resistance from major
European partners against a change of the European Treaties. Both prevented David Cameron from continuing
to campaign on the anti-EU positions from 2009-10. He
postponed a referendum over a Brexit to 2017 and claimed

European matters is vital for


UKIPs increase in voter support.
he wanted Britain to stay in a reformed EU.21 As a result,
British voters who had sympathized with the Tories
anti-EU campaigns shifted toward UKIP, which campaigns
on messages strikingly similar to the Tories takes from
2009-10. Comparable to developments in other European
countries, the Tories legitimized UKIPs agenda, and the
Tories pro-European switch from 2012 opened the electoral niche for UKIPs anti-EU agenda.22

21 In the summer of 2012, The Daily Telegraph reported Camerons change of course.
He refused to call for a referendum on Britains relations with the EU in June 2012. (The
Daily Telegraph, June 13, 2012, page 1). A month later, he once again stressed that he
personally thinks Britain should stay in the EU. (The Daily Telegraph, July 20, 2012, page
10.) His Europe minister, David Lidington, was clear in underlying the new position of
Camerons cabinet: Britain must not walk away from the European Union and Conservatives should not be emotional about the issue. (The Daily Telegraph, December 20,
2012, page 1.)

17 Lochocki, T. (2015).

22 Lochocki, Timo (2014) The Unstoppable Far Right? How established parties communication and media reporting of European affairs affect the electoral advances of
right-populist parties, GMF Europe Program Policy Brief 2014/4, http://www.gmfus.org/
publications/unstoppable-far-right.

18 The Daily Telegraph, October 5, 2009, page 7.

23 The Daily Telegraph, January 24, 2013, page 21.

19 The Daily Telegraph, October 26, 2009, page 19.

24 The Daily Telegraph, January 25, 2013, page 4.

20 The Daily Telegraph, October 30, 2010, page 19.

25 The Daily Telegraph, October 9, 2013, page 20.

16 Ford/Goodwin (2014), 175.

Europe Program

Policy Brief
In the summer of
Figure 1: The changing Tory positions on Europe and UKIPs surge in voter support
2014, the prime
minister tried to
strike a middle
ground between the
clear anti-EU fraction centered around
certain MP backbenchers and a camp
led by Cameron that
wanted Britain to
stay in a reformed
EU. He described
EU membership as
necessary so Britain
can punch over its
weight,26 while
his widely noted
speech on Europe
in November 2014
marks that major
reforms are necessary
for Britain to stay in
The correlation between the Tories shift of positions on Europe and UKIPs polling: the
a reformed EU and
less anti-EU the Tory statements as reported in the Daily Telegraph (green line), the higher
that the conservavoter support for UKIP (blue bars). A detailed explanation of methodology can be found in
tive government will
Lochocki 2014.
cut welfare benefits
Source: Lochocki, Timo (2014) The Unstoppable Far Right? How established parties communication and media reporting of European
to migrants from EU
affairs affect the electoral advances of right-populist parties, GMF Europe Program Policy Brief 2014/4, http://www.gmfus.org/publications/
27
Since
countries.
unstoppable-far-right.
2012, the statements
of leading Tory politiaffect the electoral advances of right-populist parties29:
cians waver between a stay in a reformed EU and clear
the less anti-EU the Tory statements were, as reported
pro-Brexit statements. The latter faced severe setbacks as
in the Daily Telegraph, the higher the voter support for
the Conservatives coalition partner until 2015, the proUKIP. UKIP did not increase voter support until the Tories
European Liberal Democrats, refused to enshrine the call
significantly moderated their course over Europe in 2012.
for an in-/out-referendum in October 2014.28
The Tories never reclaimed their anti-EU rhetoric from
Figure 1 shows the connection between the Tories shift
of positions on Europe and UKIPs polling as illustrated
in The Unstoppable Far Right? How established parties
communication and media reporting of European affairs

2009 entirely, but UKIPs support remains steady.

Cameron could not deliver on the anti-EU promises he


made when he was solely chairperson of the Tories because
he lacked European and domestic support for his agenda.
His pro-European coalition partner the Liberal Democrats prevented him from changing national laws to the

26 The Daily Telegraph, July 24, 2014, page 4.


27 The Daily Telegraph, November 11, 2014, page 1.
28 The Daily Telegraph, October 29, 2014, page 4.

29 Lochocki, Timo (2014) The Unstoppable Far Right? How established parties communication and media reporting of European affairs affect the electoral advances of
right-populist parties.

Europe Program

Policy Brief
Figure 2: Polling results in the United Kingdom 2003-15, in percent

Source: average of results of polling institutes listed with the British Polling Council (BPC)

extent he wished for and he could not find the allies abroad
necessary for a fundamental treaty change with the European Union.
Time to Pick Up British Parties Slack:
Why UKIP Rose from 2012 On
In addition to the Tories changed course over the EU,
previous moves by Labour and the Liberal Democrats were
also pivotal for UKIPs success.30 Since the mid 2000s,
the multicultural and open-border immigration policy of
the Labour governments under Tony Blair and Gordon
Brown alienated social-conservative workers from Labour.
A group of voters interested in casting a protest vote over
these developments joined the anti-establishment party of
the Liberal Democrats, while social-conservative Britons
could move from Labour to the Tories. However, when
the Liberal Democrats joined government in 2010, protest
voters stopped supporting them. Hence, from 2012 on,
social-conservative voters and protest voters felt their
concerns and fears were not heard by established parties

30 Also see Ford/Goodwin (2014).

any longer. 31 These


programmatic moves
prepared a fertile
breeding ground for
a new party.

Its Not the Seats:


How UKIP will
Affect British and
European Politics
for Years to Come
UKIPs rise is
grounded in its
substantial professionalization and
a long lasting and
deeply rooted disenchantment of British
voters with the
mainstream parties.
Consequently, the
one seat UKIP
obtained on the election on May 7 should
not lead to an underestimation of UKIPs impact. How
could a former fringe party nearly quadruple its support
from 2010 to 2015 and attract 12.6 percent of the votes, and
what are the long lasting imprints on British and European
politics of this surge?
The rise of right-wing populist parties in Western Europe
(compare, for instance, France and Italy) leads to a fragmentation of the political camps, pulling away voters
from the mainstream left and the mainstream right in
particular. UKIPs rise fits this bill perfectly. Studies show
that is not only dissatisfaction with certain policies that
drives UKIP voters away from mainstream parties, but a
general loathing of the political establishment. Based on
the experiences of other European countries, a return of
these voters to the Tories and Labour is extremely unlikely
in the foreseeable future. Over the last five years, UKIP
managed to attract more than 30 percent of voters in some
regions, placing them on similar footing with Labour and
31 Parau, C. E. (November 4, 2014), The 2014 European Elections in Britain: The
Counter-Revolt of the Masses? Studia Politica, Forthcoming, available at SSRN: http://
ssrn.com/abstract=2519062 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2519062.

Europe Program

Policy Brief
the Tories. In these areas, voting for UKIP is not a waste
vote, but a decent chance to win seats in the first-past-thepost system. UKIP is hence likely to remain attractive to
as many as 30 percent of British voters. The U.K. will not
return to a two-party system in the next few years.
UKIP will likely make immigration and asylum issues
dominate the national agenda for years to come, just as
the Front National did in France, the Party for Freedom
(PVV) did in the Netherlands, or the Progress Party (FP)
did in Norway. In January 2015, 52 percent of British voters
saw immigration and asylum issues as the most important
topics in the upcoming election.32 Moreover, 26 percent
of voters thought that UKIP has the best policies when it
comes to British immigration and asylum policy. Only 23
percent expressed their support for the Tories policies,
and just 16 percent for Labour.33 British voters do not trust
established British parties when it comes to one of the most
pressing issues, so UKIP has found a campaign topic that
resonates well with a substantial share of British voters.
UKIP can and will keep this topic on the political agenda as
long as voters distrust Labour and the Tories.
The impact of UKIPs anti-EU and anti-immigration
rhetoric will reach far beyond its one seat in Parliament.
Half of the voters of right-wing populist parties in Western
Europe opted for mainstream right parties beforehand.
They turned their back on the established Conservatives,
deeming their agendas on the EU and immigration too
pro-European and too liberal. Trying to counter this trend,
the French Conservatives (UMP) and the Dutch Conservatives (VVD), have taken over substantial parts of the
populists agenda on the EU and immigration. The British
Tories are embarking upon the very same strategy.
Whether conservative parties can tighten immigration law
to oust right-wing populist parties depends on domestic
factors to a large extent. However, when it to comes to
issues concerning the European Union, veto players
beyond the domestic arena come into play. The extremely
small majority of the Tories in Westminster (331 seats out
of 650) put the anti-EU MPs in a veto-position, further
increasing the pressure on Cameron from within his own
32 http://www.statista.com/statistics/381458/uk-election-most-important-issuesfacing-great-britain-uk/.
33 http://www.statista.com/statistics/381481/uk-general-election-party-most-suited-totackle-immigration/.

party. In addition, the UKIPs strong results will further


increase the legitimacy of Farages calls to leave the EU for
good. Given these domestic push factors, the British prime
minister will attempt to reclaim as many national competencies as possible. At this point in time it is not clear
yet exactly what policies Cameron wants to renegotiate.
However, key European member states, such as Germany
and France, show no signs of willingness renegotiate the
fundamental basics of the European treaties. The British
prime minister thus has to navigate between the strong
anti-EU wing in his own party and UKIP on one hand
and the reluctance of key European allies to make major
concessions on the other.
Consequently, two scenarios seem possible:
1. Cameron manages to strike a deal with his European
partners that include actual and symbolic concessions
that allow him to claim he has renegotiated British
EU membership. If the Tories manage to successfully
present themselves as the true defender of British
interests, this will increase the probability of Britain
staying in a reformed EU and would severely hamper
UKIPs appeal in the years to come.
2. If Cameron only negotiates limited concessions, this
will put him in a very weak position in campaigning
in favor of Britain staying in a reformed EU. Given
that in April 2015, 58 percent of Britons wanted to
stay with the EU, with only 22 percent supporting a
Brexit,34 Camerons limited success would most likely
not translate into British voters opting to leave the
EU. However, this might either lead to the anti-EU
wing within the Tories rejecting further support of
Cameron or to this wing defecting to UKIP. Both

Short-term and long-term


implications of a future deal with
the U.K. must be considered very
carefully.
34 http://www.tamworthherald.co.uk/General-Election-2015-Survey-reveals-voters/
story-26385271-detail/story.html

Europe Program

Policy Brief
would forge a strong anti-EU party in the run-up for
the election in 2020: either a Tory party under a new,
more euro-sceptic leadership or the UKIP backed-up
by former Tory politicians.
The Strategic Dilemma of European Policymakers
In the light of these two possible developments, European policymakers have a difficult choice to make in the
upcoming negotiations with the U.K.. Short-term and longterm implications of a future deal with the U.K. must be
considered very carefully. Strong concessions are certainly
the least appealing option for key European stakeholders in
the short and medium term, as they may be seen as undermining the state of integration in a situation where the
EU is already weakened. However, it could benefit European integration in the long haul, as it would strengthen
the political leverage of mild Euroskeptics such as David
Cameron.
This would probably not lead to a Brexit in the next years.
However, it could forge an even stronger anti-EU party
than currently present in the U.K. be it the Tories
without David Cameron or a strengthened UKIP. While
this reshuffling of the right spectrum of British politics
would benefit Labour in the short term, the developments
in Scotland and France hint of possible long-term repercussions: the remarkable rise of the Scottish National Party
(SNP) and the Front National show how a straight-forward
nationalist message can easily lead to the messenger
becoming strongest party. Marine Le Pen is currently
polling at 26-29 percent in France,35 while the Tories in
Britain needed 36 percent to win the majority of seats in
Westminster. The British first-past-the-post system might
indeed lead to a clear-cut anti-EU party seizing government in 2020 or 2025. This, in turn, would be a far less
appealing option for European policymakers in the long
run.
European policymakers face a strategic dilemma: they
either help Cameron with negotiations on EU membership that he can take home as a political victory, or prepare
themselves for either a Brexit vote in 2017 or the possibility
of a British government that wants to quit the EU for good
after the elections in 2020. In the case of a possible defeat of
35 http://www.opinion-way.com/pdf/sondage_opinionway_pour_le_figaro_lci_-_le_bilan_du_president_de_la_republique_trois_ans_apres_son_election_-_avril_2015.pdf.

the pro-EU fraction within the Tories, the factors influencing the formation of a clear-cut anti-EU government
are mostly beyond the reach of European policymakers.
Consequently, they should be well aware of the consequences if Cameron cannot claim that he has gained some
concessions on British EU membership. In doing so, they
could significantly hamper the further rise of UKIP, which
would constitute a severe threat to British EU membership
in the long run.
The views expressed in GMF publications and commentary are the
views of the author alone.

About the Author


Dr. Timo Lochocki is a transatlantic fellow of GMFs Europe Program,
based in Berlin.

About the Europe Program


The Europe Program aims to enhance understanding of the challenges facing the European Union and the potential implications for the
transatlantic relationship. Analysis, research, and policy recommendations are designed to understand the dichotomy of disintegration
and deepening of the EU and to help improve the political, economic,
financial, and social stability of the EU and its member states. In 2014,
the Europe Program focuses on integration and disintegration in the
EU, the deepening of the euro area, the changing role of Germany in
Europe and the world, as well as challenges in the EUs neighborhood.

About GMF
The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) strengthens
transatlantic cooperation on regional, national, and global challenges
and opportunities in the spirit of the Marshall Plan. GMF does this by
supporting individuals and institutions working in the transatlantic
sphere, by convening leaders and members of the policy and business
communities, by contributing research and analysis on transatlantic
topics, and by providing exchange opportunities to foster renewed
commitment to the transatlantic relationship. In addition, GMF supports a number of initiatives to strengthen democracies. Founded in
1972 as a non-partisan, non-profit organization through a gift from
Germany as a permanent memorial to Marshall Plan assistance, GMF
maintains a strong presence on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition
to its headquarters in Washington, DC, GMF has offices in Berlin,
Paris, Brussels, Belgrade, Ankara, Bucharest, and Warsaw. GMF also
has smaller representations in Bratislava, Turin, and Stockholm.