The political glue that holds any new, insurgent party like UKIP together is the people. Money and resources of course help. But ultimately UKIP’s rise has been caused by thousands and thousands of people who are joining, campaigning and helping UKIP win elections right across the country. They want change. And they are making it happen.
Nigel Farage’s appeal is wide: to many former Tories in rural constituencies in the south of England, in former Labour heartlands in the North, in Wales, in Scotland, Essex, the Midlands and so on.
His and UKIP’s appeal also now evidently stretches right into the corridors of power in Westminster.
Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless are not reactionaries. They are not loudmouth, gung-ho kamikaze operators. Both are respected in the House of Commons as having fine intellect. Both men have made things happen inside Parliament despite being constrained inside the Tory Party.
Just look at how Carswell spearheaded a movement to oust a Speaker, and how Reckless led a rebellion on the EU budget which delivered the first government defeat of this Parliament.
Imagine what they could achieve without the shackles, as UKIP MPs.
The likes of Chris Bruni-Lowe have also come over to UKIP. A respected campaigner and dogged political street fighter, he was the mastermind behind the People’s Pledge.
Their Congress in Westminster attracted around 2,000 supporters on the night, including speakers such as Priti Patel, Zac Goldsmith, Keith Vaz and Kate Hoey.
That a figure with such a track record has joined Reckless and Carswell adds to UKIP’s potential longevity. Those who held out the hope that the purple sparkler would crackle and fizzle out must surely be realising that something much more fundamental is occurring here.
UKIP is not just winning hearts. It is also attracting some of the most radical, optimistic, able minds in Britain to its ranks. That bodes well for the future of our country.