Accessibility navigation

Boris Johnson to the rescue? How the Conservatives won the radical right vote in the 2019 General Election

Evans, G., De Geus, R. ORCID: and Green, J. (2023) Boris Johnson to the rescue? How the Conservatives won the radical right vote in the 2019 General Election. Political Studies Review, 71 (4). pp. 984-1005. ISSN 1478-9302

Text (Open access) - Published Version
· Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.

[img] Text - Accepted Version
· Restricted to Repository staff only


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/00323217211051191


How can centre-right parties in majoritarian systems adapt to threats from the radical right? Using a long-term inter-election panel study we identify a remarkably stable constituency of support for Britain’s recent radical right parties - the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and the Brexit party. We show also how these same voters defected from the Conservatives across elections. In response, the government used a combination of the election of a new leader, Boris Johnson, and a hard-line position on Brexit to re-incorporate these voters into its support base, helping to lead to a large Conservative majority in 2019. Cross-party evaluations of Johnson were even more important in influencing this success than the issue of Brexit itself. Effective centre-right adaption to radical right challenges is not simply about strategic issue positioning, it can also derive from centre-right leaders with populist appeal.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:100272


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation