The seminal book on UKIP, Revolt on the Right, identifies many supporters as “the left behind”: older, poorly educated, poorly paid. Partly this is a reaction to the global financial crisis, and globalism itself. There are winners as well as losers and even as the the banks and the rich bounce back, others see no sign of recovery. While an elite feel as comfortable in Boston or Birmingham, Berlin or Beijing, those left behind on the runway may find solace in a closer, and older, identity. Protectionism and closed borders seem attractive ways of shutting out the threatening world.
This is part of the tale, but not the whole story. The leaders of UKIP and the Tea Party whom I know are hardly poor and unskilled. Many are well-heeled, and well-educated. While there is no doubt the main beneficiaries of The Disconnect are on the right, some parties on the left are growing too.