'white Trash', Working Class or Just Your Average Guy? the Changing Face of a British Far Right Supporter

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 10:45 AM
Room: Booth 45
Oral Presentation
Dmitry KURNOSOV , School of International Relations, St Petersburg State University, Russia
In the wake of a lively academic debate of the past decade and against the background of yet another decline in fortunes of the British Far Right, the paper investigates the sources of its political power. It was long considered to lie in the working class neighborhoods, to the point of current BNP leader comparing his party to the early 20th century Labour. However to what extent is the support base of the Far Right proletarian, or rather post-proletarian, given the overall postindustrial trend, remains debatable. And there's more to that – how does the experience of living in area with actual minority population influence the support for the Far Right and what are their preferences in cross-party perspective. Based on aggregate electoral and socio-economic data, I would argue that there is need to differentiate between the ideological hardcore, persistent and transient supporters of the Far Right, which are defined by distinct set of characteristics. Furthermore, as the face of the Far Right shifts to grassroots movements (such as the English Defence League), the transiency trend is set to increase.