TAKING an active involvement ahead of next year’s general election, the proliferation of the UK Independence Party as the “fourth party” in British politics is growing all the time.

Following the recent defection of Tory MPs Mark Reckless and Arron Banks, Nigel Farage’s party are gradually earning the respect of large sections of society who have lost faith in previous government regimes.

But while their policies such as independence from the European Union are convincing people to vote in their favour, getting the other three main parties – Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats – on side is another matter entirely.

However, a poll conducted by Quays News found that two thirds of those who took part believe UKIP should be taken seriously as a political force.

Poll results UKIP piece

11% were undecided about their stance on UKIP, who are renowned for their Eurosceptic and right-wing ideologies, while 22% have shrugged off their competition as a major contender to the so-called big-hitters who regularly occupy the Downing Street keys.

Tweet UKIP taken seriously Polls piece

The beer-drinking Farage, the political version of Marmite, is admittedly not everyone’s cup of tea but is admired for sticking to his principles and has predicted – both boldly and prematurely – that UKIP are already on track to win seats from eight constituencies prior to the general election.

The MEP of 15 years has built up a reputation for upsetting the mainstream party leaders, accusing PM David Cameron of deliberately recalling Parliament to discuss Islamic State matters on the day the UKIP conference got underway in Doncaster – a stage which incurred the wrath of Labour leader Ed Miliband for being in his own backyard.

Now that Farage has pledged to steal voters from under the noses of his counterparts, the storm is brewing and the attention is swaying towards UKIP’s direction.

Campaigning for what his party’s name says on the tin, Farage’s strong-minded views and competitive edge have given even left-wing voters something to think about.

But with Labour seemingly in pole position to regain power, if media speculation is anything to go by, it may take something special for UKIP to convince the sceptics that they are well-equipped to lead the country forward in the next five-year term.

As membership numbers increase and interest in their raison d’etre rises in prominence, UKIP are not going away any time soon and the party that many love to loathe will be determined to make their mark with an effective manifesto before Britain goes to the polls next May.

Nigel Farage
Point of view: Farage laid down his proposed policies on income tax and immigration during the recent UKIP party conference

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