Iain Martin nods:
Ipsos Mori shows that support for the EU at its highest level since 1991. YouGov’s EU referendum tracker also gives the status quo a narrow lead by 40 per cent to 39 per cent this month. How can this be when Ukip is running rampant? The truth is that for all the cocky Ukip rhetoric about a people’s army, the party appeals to nothing like a majority.
Alex Massie suspects that “that UKIP, paradoxically, tarnish and hamper their own cause”:
UKIP may help kill the thing they love the most. Without realising it, they may actually limit support for leaving the EU. UKIP may put a ceiling on euro-scepticism not a floor. And the more attention and publicity UKIP enjoy the lower that ceiling may become.
Larison chimes in:
UKIP has been gaining support because it presents itself as an anti-establishment political movement, because it taps into dissatisfaction with the country’s immigration policies, and because it has used populist rhetoric to appeal to working-class voters. It also serves generally as a vehicle for protesting the political class as a whole. Many others have observed with some amusement that this makes UKIP very much like nationalist protest parties all across Europe. It doesn’t follow from this that its new supporters find its main goal of leaving the EU appealing.