The interesting thing about British politics right now is there is a group of people that potentially could come together.
You’ve got the disillusioned former Cabinet ministers like Suella Braverman, you’ve got the 2019 MPs who are going to lose their seats next year who are going to be looking for something to do and you’ve got Nigel Farage who is potentially building his brand and becoming a national figure again.
And you’ve got a group of issues that play remarkably well to that kind of movement. People want to talk about migration, borders, the woke, Law and Order and Hamas supporters in Britain.
So potentially there is something there that could be interesting, that could be significant. Politically, 2024 is going to be enormous, but I think it might also potentially see another twist and turn in British politics. We might see the rise of something that is once again railing against the big parties.
The stars have aligned for Nigel Farage to present himself as the man of the people to a new audience during I’m a Celeb
I know Nigel very well and I’ve said consistently that he’s going to do a lot better on this show than people think. He is much more personable in real life, I think many of the portrayals of Farage in public don’t really reflect the real Farage.
I suspect he will connect with a new audience. He’s already big on things like TikTok, he’s already quite well known among Generation Z and he will be going into this thinking, ‘I’ve got a unique opportunity to raise the visibility of my brand, to connect with a new generation of voters, to show an older generation of voters that I wasn’t really what the media said I was’.
And also to be ‘man of the people’. If he does well, you know if he takes it on the chin, if he has a good laugh and if he comes across in an authentic way, explains to people why he holds the views that he holds, and why he cares about the country and why he thinks it’s going down the drain. There is a unique opportunity here for Farage to come out to say, ‘okay you’ve seen me in real life, you’ve seen what I’m like now I want to continue this journey and start something new’.
If you speak to him privately he’ll say he wants to cultivate the broadcast thing, he wants to do the fame, he wants to do the TV and do the kind of Michael Portillo routine.
But I think the fact he’s going into the jungle and coming out and finding David Cameron in government again, I think that’s going to really, really irritate him.
There has never been a bigger chance for a new radical party to take Britain by storm – and Farage could come out the Jungle to lead it
I don’t think there has ever been as much space for a radical alternative to the main parties as there is today.
If you go back 10 years to when we had Nigel Farage in the UK Independence Party there was a lot of disquiet in the country around rising immigration and our EU membership. If you look at where we are today there is enormous disquiet and disillusionment with even higher levels of migration, with borders that are not being controlled, with a political class that has seemed incapable of responding to things like the cost of living crisis, to inflation, to the deterioration of people’s living standards. We’ve seen the collapse of just competent public services like the National Health Service and the quality of schools and teaching.
I sit in focus groups with voters, and I was in Stoke-on-Trent last week and voters were crying in the focus group because they could not figure out how they were going to get to the end of the month.
So the breeding ground is there for a radical alternative that says I don’t want the London centric economy, I don’t want net migration at 600,000, I don’t want both left and right looking identical looking the same, I don’t want inflation and food prices rocketing, and the cost of school uniforms rocketing, and I don’t want this kind of very divisive identity politics worldview in my kids schools, in the universities, the NHS and the public institutions.
The market for a party like that, that is saying it wants to basically prioritise the national community, it wants to bring people together, it wants to push back against all this divisive nonsense that see. I think that’s a 20 to 25 per cent party.
The problem with something like Reform, they have been picking up in the polls on seven, eight nine per cent, but they don’t have that charismatic presence, they don’t have that charismatic leader, they haven’t captured the imagination.
It might be that Nigel Farage in the jungle now being exposed to households up and down the country, that might fundamentally change his political calculus, his political motivation.
He might come out of the jungle and think ‘I’m now a national figure, it’s time to get back in politics’ if it goes well for him. That’s a possibility.
If you look around the world today you’ve got new parties and new challenges breaking through from Sweden to Italy to France to Donald Trump in America. The question in Britain is not if, but when?