chapter  7
Imagining the people in UKIP and Labour
WithRuth Breeze
Pages 16

Europe has seen a rise in populist movements, as trust in mainstream political parties has been undermined by the financial crisis and by perceptions of widespread corruption. Some discourse-oriented studies have shown how new political movements use charismatic personalities and striking discursive strategies to attract media attention and appeal to particular sectors of the electorate. United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) is broadly classified as a right-wing populist party, with high visibility, a deliberately shocking style and an outspoken anti-establishment stance. Labour under Jeremy Corbyn, though claiming to represent the people, is generally thought to adopt a more mainstream approach to politics, respecting discursive norms and the status quo, and avoiding sensationalism. “Government” turns out to be particularly salient in Labour, while UKIP overall has consistently more items tagged as “politics”. Labour news abounds with references to the government, MPs, the Prime Minister, other Ministers and other governmental institutions.